Medical library, student aid sites score high in e-gov user satisfaction

A health library and the online application for federal college aid topped the latest quarterly survey of e-government customer satisfaction.

Just over half of the 35 surveyed Web sites received a passing grade of 70 or above on a 100-point scale, according to the survey.

The survey, released today, looked at 35 federal sites that use the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) developed by the University of Michigan.

The main site of MedlinePlus, a medical information portal run by the National Library of Medicine at medlineplus.gov scored 86 out of 100 points on ASCI. The Spanish-language counterpart to MedlinePlus, at medlineplus.gov/esp, scored an 82.

Matching the main MedlinePlus site’s score of 86 was the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov, which lets college students determine eligibility for federal grants, loans and work-study programs.

The National Women’s Health Information Center, at www.4women.gov, received a score of 83, the same as in the previous E-Government Satisfaction Index survey (Click for Sept. 15 GCN story)

The increase in the number of Web sites using the index, from 22 to 35 over the past quarter, “is just one indication that federal e-government is getting serious” about meeting users’ demands, said Larry Freed, chief executive officer of ForeSee Results Inc. of Farmington Hills, Mich. ForeSee Results sponsored the survey.

Anne Kelly, director of the Treasury Department’s Federal Consulting Group, said the index is “an ideal complement to usability testing to help managers set priorities in terms of site design and service offerings.” Kelly’s group works with other agencies to improve their customer service.

Other Web sites that scored 75 or above were the CIA’s recruitment site, the main sites of NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Mint’s online catalog, the State Department’s employment page and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

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