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    DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (512) 533-3000

    E-mail the HIV/STD Program

    E-mail data requests to HIV/STD Program

    DSHS strives to respond to all email requests in a timely manner. It is important to note, however, that messages that you send to us by email may not be secure and may be intercepted by a third party. Therefore, we recommend that you do not send any confidential health information to us by email.

Introduction to RECN

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Information on HIV testing is reported through RECN (Real-time Education & Counseling Net). RECN is a browser-based, online system used by DSHS HIV prevention counseling programs.

  • The required data elements are listed in RECN Data Elements (PDF : 28 kb), and are summarized on the RECN Data Summary Sheet (PDF : 25 kb).

  • The data reporting requirements must not drive counseling sessions. We understand that not every risk or behavior field will be relevant for every client, or each counseling session. If you discuss something with a client, report it. If something did not come up, and you don't know the answer to a risk/behavior question, it is ok to say no. When we present these data, we always acknowledge that we are focusing on yes responses, and that this is a minimum estimate of the proportion of clients with this characteristic. You don't need to set up elaborate client surveys or spend time during the session going through each of the fields. Make sure you have a mechanism to collect the basic descriptive information and the residence information, and then report the risk and exposure information that is relevant for the client - rest assured that we understand that a no response for a risk can mean no or I don't know if this is a risk for this client – it wasn't part of our discussion.

  • Use the RECN Data Summary Sheet (PDF : 25 kb) to examine your current data collection activities to see if there are any types of information you are not already routinely collecting.

  • The actual reporting is done online. The technical requirements for being able to report online are summarized below:
    • The workstations that will be used to submit RECN data must have a security certificate installed by DSHS staff and must be capable of supporting connection to the application.
      • Must have Windows 98 or later as an operating system
      • Must have Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
      • Must be able to connect to the Internet
      • Must be a desktop or laptop that docks in at the worksite
      • Must be a PC – Macs don't work with this application!
    • Data must be submitted from inside the agency site. No remote entry or home-based work is allowed.
  • Before you start reporting, we recommend that you determine how information will get into RECN. Will counselors enter it? Will counselors fill out the data summary form and give it to someone else, such as a clerk, a volunteer or administrative staff to enter it?

  • You can create your own data collection form or use the RECN Data Collection Form (PDF : 65 kb). You do not have to use the collection form if you have other methods of collecting information but it may be useful if you have staff other than counselors entering data into RECN.

  • Designate a point of contact at your agency to discuss RECN issues, such as setting up security appointments, or troubleshooting data problems. Please do not appoint an IT person – we need someone who understands the reporting and program requirements. E-mail DSHS the RECN Agency Contact Information Form (Word : 27 kb). If you questions, contact the RECN staff listed in the Contact Information.

  • You will need security certificates installed on the computers you will use to connect to RECN. DSHS staff will set up an appointment to come out to do this if your agency is a new site for RECN usage. If you want to use networked computers, your network administrator may have to be present to allow us to download the certificates, or give administrative permission within the network environment to allow the certificates to be downloaded.

  • You must report the testing activity within 90 days of the date of the test. After 90 days, you will be locked out of RECN, and must contact the RECN staff listed in the Contact Information to submit data for inclusion in the system.
Start Up Checklist
 

E-mail completed RECN Access Request Form (Word : 49 kb).

 

E-mail completed RECN Agency Contact Information Form (Word : 27 kb).

  Contact RECN staff listed in Contact Information for an appointment for security certificate set-up.
 

Set-up sites in RECN by completing and e-mailing the RECN Counseling Sites Form (Word : 36 kb).

  Examine current data collection forms and practices, considering data needed for RECN.
  Devise plan for data entry.
  Keep staff aware of any changes to data collection and reporting routines.

Last updated April 17, 2014