Background: Although information technology (IT) plays an increasingly important role in the delivery of healthcare, specific guidelines to assist human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care settings in adopting IT are lacking.
Methods: Through the experiences of six Special Projects of National Significance - (SPNS) funded HIV-specific IT interventions, key considerations prior to adoption and evaluation of IT are presented. The purpose of this article is to provide guidelines to consider prior to adoption and evaluation of IT in HIV care settings.
Results: Six sites conducted comprehensive evaluations of IT interventions between 2002 and 2005, encompassing care delivered to 24,232 clients by 700 providers. Six key considerations prior to adoption of IT in HIV care delivery were identified, including IT and programmatic capacity, expectations, participation, organizational models, end-user types, and challenges. Specific evaluation techniques included implementation assessment, formative evaluation, cost studies, outcomes evaluation, and performance indicators. Grantee experiences are used to illustrate key considerations.
Discussion: With proper preparation, even resource-poor HIV care delivery programs can successfully adopt IT.