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Sharing TA Tools

September 1, 2010


Graphic of people on a web sharing information

Don’t reinvent the wheel. That simple phrase explains why the TARGET Center compiles tools and resources developed by the Ryan White Community. Hundreds of tools can be found, ranging from needs assessment methodologies to clinical protocols. Tools were developed by HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau and Ryan White grantees and planning bodies.

The collection has grown slowly and carefully, from fewer than 50 items in 2003 to 500+ today. Additional topics include clinic operations, fiscal management, and techniques for engaging people in care. But it is not a catch-all collection. Every single item is screened and approved based upon its TA potential. HRSA/HAB project officers take the lead in selecting tools.

Where Tools Are Discovered

Below are just a few examples of where tools have been found:

  • Listservs: Every so often, someone on a Ryan White listserv asks for a copy of a protocol, a job description, or another resource—and someone shares what they have. For example, Missouri, the Ryan White Part B grantee, answered a CAREWare listserv request for policies and materials on medical information privacy and patient confidentiality. We reviewed and added them.
  • Project Officer Contributions: As busy as they are, project officers share resources developed by grantees and planning councils, like needs assessments, comprehensive plans, and clinical protocols.
  • TA Cooperative Agreements: HRSA/HAB funds a number of cooperative agreements that develop TA materials, which are reviewed and entered into the search database in order to make finding TA resources a one-shop-stop.
  • Linking to HRSA HAB’s Online Resources: HRSA HAB funds several TA centers that handle a large volume of special collections, like the National Quality Center and AETC National Resource Center. Some TA tools are also hosted on the HRSA Information Center. The TARGET Center has global links to these sites in order to drive Web traffic to these centralized databases, which sort, update, and otherwise manage their materials.
  • Web Searches: TARGET Center staff find stuff all the time—from emails telling us about new resources to accidental discoveries as we scan grantee and planning council Web sites.

How TA Tools are Selected

There are hundreds of resources in the TA collection. Prior to inclusion, every item is screened for its TA potential, using these criteria:

  • Usable: Is it usable by the target audience?
  • Clear: Is it clearly presented (e.g., clear format)?
  • Consistent: Is it consistent with Ryan White legislation and HAB policy and guidance?
  • Credible: Is it current and a credible source of information?
  • Accepted Practice: Does it complement or reflect a generally accepted, previously existing model for the topic area?
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