Throughout the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the southern U.S. is particularly at risk; in 2017, over 52% of all new HIV diagnoses occurred in the South. While HIV incidence rates have decreased nationwide, the Southeast region’s three-year HIV survival rate is the lowest in the country.
In the face of this challenge, help is underway.
The Southeast AIDS Education & Training Center (SE AETC) is empowering the healthcare frontliners fighting the disease and raising the standard of care for those already infected. Caspio’s low-code development platform is a technology partner in its crusade.
Fighting the Disease With Life-Saving Training
The AETC network is the training arm of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, a national initiative to deliver care and services to people who lack healthcare coverage or financial resources to treat HIV and AIDS.
SE AETC is one of eight regional programs that educate healthcare professionals on prevention best practices, improving outcomes along the HIV care continuum and raising the standard of care. As a result, clinicians, nurses, social workers, case managers and pharmacists — the frontliners who are involved with the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS — are equipped with the skills and knowledge to battle the epidemic.
Improving Reach While Maintaining Compliance
SE AETC’s mandate is high-quality training and continuous learning. To amplify its reach, the organization wanted to focus on online training.
Initially, the task appeared daunting because the organization lacked a consolidated user database. Instead, participants’ information was managed in a spreadsheet. To communicate with participants about available training, the staff had to manually copy-and-paste emails and send them out one by one. As a result, training attendance was relatively low; a typical webcast was attended by only 25 to 75 people.
As a federally funded organization operating in a heavily regulated industry, SE AETC must also comply with the Health Resources and Services Administration. This government agency requires granular information about the training participants and coordinators, as well as the different types of training being offered.
The Solution: A Secure, Accessible Online Database
To extend the reach of their online training programs, SE AETC hired Clint Ribble as their Senior User Experience Designer. The first thing he did was look for the appropriate tool or software to bring the entire training program online.
After extensive research, Ribble decided to work with Caspio.
Since the training application was going to be accessed by 25,000 users, subscribing to conventional per-user software pricing models would have ballooned the nonprofit’s expenses. Thankfully, Caspio allows unlimited app users, and this feature provided considerable savings to the organization.
“We’re federally funded, so we need to know exactly how much each procurement will cost. We need to set our budget and stick to it, and only Caspio allowed us to do that,” he said.
While SE AETC does not gather protected health information, it appreciated Caspio having a HIPAA-compliant edition. This feature further proved the platform’s security and compliance capabilities and was influential in their decision to go with Caspio.
Empowered Care Through Online Portals and Dashboards
Using Caspio’s visual application development tools, Ribble created two password-protected portals: one for training participants, and the other for program coordinators. He designed the systems to “talk” to each other, and included dashboards for real-time report generation. The centralized user database also simplified the process of contacting participants and engaging them throughout their learning journey.
The Caspio-powered portals transformed the way SE AETC delivers training.
Coordinators create events and invite participants with a click of a button, while participants see the exact training path they need to take. Upon completing the modules, participants can download certificates of completion and submit feedback, allowing coordinators to track participants’ progress and suggest additional trainings.
Our coordinators only spend a handful of minutes on the database each day. Meanwhile, other regions’ coordinators spend at least 20% of their day on data entry.Clint Ribble
Sr. User Experience Designer, SE AETC
From its original webcasts with 25 to 75 participants per session, SE AETC now conducts weekly trainings on different topics with 400 to 500 attendees per webcast.
Today, the Caspio-powered portals support 35,000 participants and 100 administrative users. System administrators easily gather granular information, communicate with participants and track program performance across different metrics. Best of all, the dashboards have unique views that allow them to quickly generate reports.
“Views are a lifesaver for us,” shared Ribble. “We used to spend weeks cleaning and slicing the data. Now, what used to take weeks just takes a couple of hours.”
Steady Progress for Ultimately Ending the Epidemic
Currently, a family of medications called antiretrovirals suppresses the viral load of people living with HIV/AIDS. Over time, the virus becomes undetectable by standard lab tests, and studies show that when the virus reaches this level of suppression, it’s no longer transmittable. Additionally, certain people at risk for infection can take a pre-exposure prophylactic (PrEP) medication to protect themselves from acquiring the disease. When these two medications work in tandem, the spread of the virus can be stopped.
“You get the right people on PrEP, make sure people who are positive are undetectable and we could legitimately end the epidemic just through those means,” said Ribble.
With a workforce putting the best HIV prevention and treatment standards into practice, more people will have access to these medications. By fulfilling its mandate of high-quality training and continuous learning, SE AETC is making sure this happens.
The dramatic increase in online engagement is a good indicator of their progress.
Ribble presented his organization’s success to the other AETC regional groups during the 2018 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment. Many were inspired by Ribble’s success and quickly followed suit, moving their training programs online using Caspio.
To date, five AETCs have built Caspio-powered portals to assist the national program’s 500 staff members.
“Caspio gives us each the flexibility to implement specific workflows that work for our individual region, while also storing the data in a way that matches our funder’s standardized formatting requirements,” said Paul Cook, PHD, Evaluator of the Mountain West AIDS Education and Training Center. “Even our federal project officers at HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) have commented on how flexible the 5 regions using Caspio are with regard to data collection and reporting.”
With easier data management, streamlined systems and improved collaboration, the regional AETCs are more aligned than ever to address AIDS and HIV by empowering the entire ecosystem confronting the disease.
“Ending the epidemic doesn’t mean curing HIV — it means ending new transmissions of the virus through medical interventions like PrEP and antiretroviral therapy,” said Ribble. “We can get there.”
Learn How to Leverage Low-Code for Your Cause
Nonprofits, government agencies and healthcare organizations rely on various tools and software to support their cause, often requiring development and customization by technical staff. In the case of SE AETC, Caspio provided an all-in-one low-code solution that powered their entire program, improving their participant reach, user experience, training quality and overall efficiency.
With Caspio, you can build sophisticated online database applications that meet regulatory compliance and budget restrictions without relying on IT, developers or consultants — freeing you to focus on your cause instead of technical complexities.