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Vol. LIX, No. 1
January 12, 2007
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NIH Web Sites Win Customer Satisfaction

  Accepting the Customer Satisfaction Achievement Award were members of the NIH leadership team that implemented the ACSI at NIH. Shown are (from l) Cindy Love, NLM; Ron Oberbillig, Treasury Department federal consulting group (FCG); Dr. Fred Wood, NLM; Mark Malamud, NHLBI; Dr. Elliot Siegel, NLM; Sue Feldman, NCI; Karen Evans, Office of Management and Budget; Ann Kelly, FCG director. Not pictured are Dennis Rodrigues, OD; and Marie Lagana, CIT.  
  Accepting the Customer Satisfaction Achievement Award were members of the NIH leadership team that implemented the ACSI at NIH. Shown are (from l) Cindy Love, NLM; Ron Oberbillig, Treasury Department federal consulting group (FCG); Dr. Fred Wood, NLM; Mark Malamud, NHLBI; Dr. Elliot Siegel, NLM; Sue Feldman, NCI; Karen Evans, Office of Management and Budget; Ann Kelly, FCG director. Not pictured are Dennis Rodrigues, OD; and Marie Lagana, CIT.  

The first annual Customer Satisfaction Achievement Award was presented to NIH recently by the Treasury Department’s federal consulting group. The award recognizes NIH “for innovative, cross-agency use of the American Customer Satisfaction Index to achieve web site excellence and consistently improve customer satisfaction.” The ACSI is both a standardized and customizable subscription survey produced by the University of Michigan and offered by ForeSee Results, Inc. OMB selected the ACSI to measure satisfaction with federal services and programs.

Electronic health information resources are becoming the preferred means by which NIH disseminates research results and communicates with scientists, educators, health professionals, patients and the public worldwide. Customer feedback is essential if we are to know how well we are doing and if we are making a difference. Over a 2-year period, an NIH leadership team planned and carried out an enterprise- wide implementation and evaluation of the online customer satisfaction survey, with 60 web sites hosted by virtually every institute, center and OD office. Funding was provided by the NIH Evaluation Set-Aside Program.

NIH web sites did exceedingly well overall in national comparisons and performance benchmarking, besting the average score for all government web sites and consistently equaling or exceeding the highest scores recorded by branded commercial web sites.

“It was a challenging project yet gratifying in many ways,” said Dennis Rodrigues, chief of the Online Information Branch, Office of Communications and Public Liaison, OD. “In particular, it was a great example of collaboration across institute lines. By approaching this in an enterprise fashion, we were able to offer a powerful evaluation tool to many NIH web teams that did not have the time or resources to do so on their own. We captured an enormous amount of useful data that will help in future improvements to NIH web sites.”

An evaluation directed by employee and contract experts found that use of the ACSI improved understanding of user demographics and user needs, characterized the ways in which NIH information is used and supported web site redesign efforts. The opportunity for sharing experiences as part of this trans-NIH collaboration had the added benefit of increasing NIH staff skills in web site evaluation, survey research methodology and performance benchmarking.

A copy of the evaluation report is posted at http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/ocpl/resources/wag/repository.htm. NIH Record Icon

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