Frequently Asked Questions

Q   Ive read of the RIAS tool being used in many studies. I would like to use RIAS in one of my projects. How do I go about it?

A   There are two options: You may contact us at RIASWORKS to analyze your materials for you, or we can train you in the use of the RIAS so that your trained group can analyze your own materials.

Q   How do I get RIAS training?

A   Basic RIAS training typically consists of 3 days of intense instruction either in Baltimore, Maryland, or at other locations, as requested. Training includes instruction in the use of the RIAS codes and its application in the coding software, help after training with coding questions, establishment of coding validity and reliability, and assistance in exporting coding data from the RIAS software to a statistical database.

After the 3-day instruction period, trainees should plan to spend another 50-60 hours of practice, using their own study materials, before they can expect to be a reliable and efficient coder.

Check Upcoming Events for notices of scheduled RIAS training sessions, or contact us for further information and costs.

Q   How do I decide whether to be trained to code materials myself or contract with RIASWORKS for services?

A   Training is time consuming and demanding and not every trained coder enjoys coding or is good at it. Coder turnover and poor reliability can be a problem. However, if you are determined to learn the system and wish to use it in its most straightforward application (e.g., primary care practice with two speakers), RIAS training is for you.

If your project involves multiple speakers, complicated or specialized discussions, or a novel application, it would make sense to work with us and use our expert coders.

Q   How can I get a copy of the RIAS software?

A   We do not sell the RIAS software. The software is given to participants during RIAS training, and the training session includes instruction in its use.

Q   I am part of an organization in the US that provides care to non-English speaking and immigrant patients. Can RIAS help analyze medical encounters that are not in English?

A   Yes, RIAS has been used to analyze many non-English medical visits, and we have bilingual coders trained to do so through RIASWORKS.

Q   Is RIAS applicable outside primary care?

A   Yes, RIAS has been applied to studies in many medical specialties and clinical areas, including such diverse settings as veterinarian medicine, dentistry, and podiatry. See our Resource page for studies organized by subject area.

Q   Has RIAS analysis been used in studies related to gender, culture/ ethnicity and literacy?

A   Yes. See our Resources by Subject Areas page for studies organized by these topic areas.

Q   I know that RIAS has been used in studies all over the world. Can RIAS help us evaluate care provided to non-English patients in other countries?

A   We are very proud of the large network of international researchers who have used RIAS in their countries. See our International Affiliates and Resources by Country pages to explore the global nature of our work.

Q   Where can I read more about the area of doctor-patient communication in general?

A   The Resources page will link you to the hundreds of RIAS studies conducted all over the world. For a more general overview of the field, you may want to read Doctors Talking With Patients: Improving Communication in Medical Visits, by Debra Roter and Judith Hall, 2nd Edition, Praeger Press, 2006.