Evaluate your efforts

 

Evaluation —an often overlooked but valuable step—doesn’t need to be a formal or expensive process. Any information you collect helps show what you’ve accomplished and how you can improve future efforts. Planning ahead will help ensure that you build in time and resources for evaluation. This page can guide your evaluation process.

Track the number of materials distributed

One of the easiest things to do is track dissemination of your materials. Keep count of how many hard copy materials you distribute. If you post materials online, track how many hits your website gets or how many times the documents are downloaded.

Learn about reactions to the materials

Getting feedback after you distribute the materials can help you learn what people liked, what they didn’t, and what you can improve in the future. You can get this feedback by talking with groups of employees or members or by asking for written comments. If you post your materials online, you may want to include a link to a short feedback survey on the materials.

If you post your materials online, you may want to include a link to a short feedback survey on the materials.  Download a sample feedback survey.

Assess changes in attitudes or knowledge

If this interests you, one option is to survey employees or members prior to distributing the materials to ask about their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs. Then, re-survey after distributing the materials to assess any changes.

Another option is to talk with groups of employees or members before and after you disseminate the materials. For example, to assess a campaign around “knowing your numbers,” one employer that used the Toolkit held focus groups to detect specific changes in employees’ knowledge of their personal health data.

Download a list of sample questions to help you get feedback after you distribute the materials.

Assess changes in behavior

Because behavior changes slowly, measuring changes is a long-term process. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t see results overnight. The greatest potential for behavior change is when you provide information coupled with incentives to use and act on the information—for instance, providing materials that emphasize the value of preventive care and, at the same time, restructuring benefits to support the use of preventive health services.

To assess behavior change, you may want to gather claims data on utilization of health care services both before and after you distribute the materials. Look to see whether there are changes in how people access services (for example, emergency room use versus primary care), or whether there are differences in the number or types of claims you are receiving.

One employer that used the Toolkit assessed changes in behavior by looking at medical and pharmacy claims related to primary care and preventive visits, medication compliance, emergency room visits for non-emergency issues, and use of prenatal care. Another employer focused on employees’ participation in health risk assessments and use of wellness resources.