Assessing A Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation

Assessing A Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation

Program/policy evaluation is a valuable tool that can help strengthen the quality of programs/policies and improve outcomes for the populations they serve. Program/policy evaluation answers basic questions about program/policy effectiveness. It involves collecting and analyzing information about program/policy activities, characteristics, and outcomes. This information can be used to ultimately improve program services or policy initiatives.

Nurses can play a very important role assessing program/policy evaluation for the same reasons that they can be so important to program/policy design. Nurses bring expertise and patient advocacy that can add significant insight and impact. In this Assignment, you will practice applying this expertise and insight by selecting an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflecting on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program/policy.

To Prepare:

  • Review the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template provided in the Resources.
  • Select an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation or choose one of interest to you and get approval to use it from your Instructor.
  • Review the healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflect on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program or policy described.

The Assignment: (2–3 pages)

Based on the program or policy evaluation you selected, complete the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template. Be sure to address the following:

  • Describe the healthcare program or policy outcomes.
  • How was the success of the program or policy measured?
  • How many people were reached by the program or policy selected?
  • How much of an impact was realized with the program or policy selected?
  • At what point in program implementation was the program or policy evaluation conducted?
  • What data was used to conduct the program or policy evaluation?
  • What specific information on unintended consequences was identified?
  • What stakeholders were identified in the evaluation of the program or policy? Who would benefit most from the results and reporting of the program or policy evaluation? Be specific and provide examples.
  • Did the program or policy meet the original intent and objectives? Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend implementing this program or policy in your place of work? Why or why not?
  • Identify at least two ways that you, as a nurse advocate, could become involved in evaluating a program or policy after 1 year of implementation.

The policy process is complex, dynamic, and rarely linear. Evaluation can inform all domains of CDC’s Policy Process. However, evaluation efforts may require different considerations within each domain. The information provided in the document “Using Evaluation to Inform CDC’s Policy Processpdf icon” can be used to assist public health professionals who are evaluating their work within specific domains of the Policy Process to ask the right questions, and use an approach to gathering evidence and performing analysis that will be viewed as credible and enhance the ability of policies to improve public health.


This document is intended to provide information and examples in order to:

  • Improve our understanding of evaluation as it applies to the five specific domains of the Policy Process;
  • Recognize the value of, and opportunities for, policy evaluation;
  • Improve our ability to evaluate one or more specific domains of the Policy Process;
  • Understand the importance of using evaluation findings to inform the evidence base

Ongoing program evaluation is just as important for self-management support programs as it is for other service delivery programs. Purchasers and builders will want to routinely receive information that allows them to assess the program’s operation and performance, especially whether it ultimately benefits patients with chronic illnesses. Yet there is at present no standard format for such information, and a purchaser or builder of a self-management support program will find a broad array of possible evaluation measures. To some extent, the choice depends on the program’s main goals, but a selection of endpoints may lead to the best understanding of how the program is working. In the following section, “Evaluation Measures,” we describe the range of evaluation measures revealed by our literature review and expert interviews and discuss the key issues that were raised. Additional methodological issues are discussed in the next section, “Evaluation Methodology.”

Evaluation Measures

Program success may be assessed at many points along the chain of effects presented in Figure 1. One can examine whether:

  • Program structure matches what was called for in the contract.
  • Coaches are engaging eligible patients and performing the self-management support activities.
  • Patients’ knowledge and self-efficacy have increased.
  • Patients’ health-related behaviors have changed.
  • Rates of provider adherence to guidelines have increased.
  • Disease control has improved.
  • Patient health outcomes have improved.
  • Patient satisfaction has improved.
  • Utilization has declined, and patient productivity has improved.
  • Health care costs have declined.

Each of these interim and long-term goals is important and provides a possible endpoint for evaluation. They are discussed in more detail below.

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