Government's healthcare Web sites among consumers' favorites

May 13, 2010

Citizen satisfaction with government Web sites, which climbed to an all-time high last year, remained high through the first quarter of 2010, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index?s E-Government Satisfaction Index.

Consumer satisfaction with government Web sites, which climbed to an all-time high last year, remained high through the first quarter of 2010, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index's (ACSI's) E-Government Satisfaction Index. Two health-related sites-HHS' MedlinePlus Web site the Social Security Administration's Help with Medicare Drug Plan Costs Web site-scored among the government's top four performers.

The ACSI E-Government Satisfaction Index registered a score of 75.1 on a 100-point scale in the first quarter of 2010, 1.5 points higher than its score in the first quarter of 2009 and just shy of the highest level of citizen satisfaction with online government (75.2), set in the third quarter of 2009. The MedlinePlus and Help with Medicare Drug Plan Costs sites both posted consumer satisfaction scores of 87.

e-gov is enjoying some of the best citizen satisfaction scores ever recorded, said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results. "The Open Government Directive has resulted in a significant increase in satisfaction that has been successfully maintained over the last three quarters."

ForeSee Results applies the methodology of the ACSI to help organizations better understand how improvements to specific aspects of their Web sites (such as navigation or site performance) positively affect overall satisfaction, which in turn increases loyalty, recommendations, and customers' likelihood to use the Web site again. Knowledge of site visitors' likely future behaviors enables organizations to prioritize site enhancements and allocate resources efficiently.

ForeSee Results surveyed more than 250,000 visitors to 106 federal Web sites in the first quarter of 2010. The full report is available at no charge from Forsee Results.

"At a time when public trust in government is near record lows, it may seem strange that people are satisfied with many of the things government does. But what this means is that federal agencies, and e-gov in particular, often do a job that is appreciated by the individuals they serve," said Claes Fornell, founder of ACSI and a business professor at the University of Michigan. "General mistrust of government, which is more of an overall attitude, does not seem to translate into dissatisfaction with actual government services."