AIDS Regional Information and Evaluation System (ARIES)
The AIDS Regional Information and Evaluation System (ARIES) is a custom, web-based, centralized HIV/AIDS client management system that provides a single point of entry for clients, allows for coordination of client services among providers, meets both federal and state care and treatment reporting requirements, and provides comprehensive data for program monitoring and scientific evaluations. ARIES also increases the security of confidential client data by employing technological features such as personal digital certificates, role based permissions and data encryption and enhances services for clients with HIV by helping providers automate, plan, manage, and report on client data.
ARIES is the product of four separate administrative jurisdictions: the California Department of Public Health - Office of AIDS (OA), the Riverside/San Bernardino (California) Eligible Metropolitan Area (EMA), the San Diego (California) EMA, and the State of Texas, Texas Department of State Health Services. The goal of the partnership is to join together to design, develop, and implement an effective and efficient HIV client information management system meeting the current and future health care management and health system administration needs common to all four Partners.
ARIES is a software application for a database management information system meant to be utilized by HIV/AIDS service providers and health system administrators. It is intended to provide effective tools for the planning, service monitoring, and consumer outcome evaluation functions that are understood to be essential to HIV service management or health system administration roles and responsibilities.
The Role of the California HIV/AIDS Research Program
In 2001, the ARIES Partners contracted with the California HIV/AIDS Research Program (CHRP) to take on the role of project management for the development of the ARIES software. This encompassed the development and release of the ARIES RFP (2002), working with the ARIES vendor to produce the initial ARIES software application (2005), and then managing future enhancements for implementation by CHRP’s ARIES development team (ongoing). In January, 2005, the State of Texas implemented ARIES statewide. In 2006, California began its phased, statewide rollout of ARIES.
CHRP continues to work closely with the ARIES Partners to determine the technical and functional requirements to further enhance ARIES so the system continues to comply with any changes in federal and state reporting requirements and continues to be responsive to end user needs. The Office of AIDS is presenting ARIES throughout California to invite its funded providers, various EMAs and non-OA funded providers to join the ARIES service network; additionally, other states have expressed interest in adopting ARIES as their HIV client information system. Nevada implemented ARIES in 2007.
Establishment of ARIES signifies increased HIV service coordination, more accurate reporting and increased quality of care. It is also means the creation of an extensive health services database that collects client-level demographic and treatment data that can be used for research purposes, and ultimately to inform treatment and policies aimed at improving the quality of care. Future plans involve using ARIES data for the evaluation of HIV health services.
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