Developing an Evaluation Plan and Disseminating Results
Usually, nursing institutions are in consistent move to ensuring effectiveness in type of services being offered in terms of expected standards. This is achieved through preparation and subsequent implementation of change programmes that can be in form of training, appraisal recommendations, change management, staff satisfaction policies among others. However, implementation of these factors is not sufficient in an organization or institution until an evaluation is carried out. The main objective of the evaluation exercise is to provide a measuring guideline on how much success has been realized after the implementation exercise of the proposed solution. That is, it helps an institution gauge whether or not it is moving in the right direction as determined by its overall objectives and missions.
There are several methods for evaluating proposed solution to problem affecting nursing practices. However, effectiveness of an evaluation method is determined by the method used or proposed for solutions needed.
Proposed solution to numerous death cases of patients due to nursing malpractices (errors) and substandard services (low quality) as reported by Kohn et al (2000) and the Institute of Medicine (2001) respectively involves nurses’ active involvement in research findings by reviewing released research articles. This can be achieved by providing articles to practicing nurses within the organization on annual bases. After every release of research work or findings, the information would be made available through various media (print, discussions or departmental up-date meetings). Then, respective nurses would be expected to make a presentation of the learnt concept during the internally organized conference forum. Main variables to be assessed during this exercise include nurses’ attitudes to continuous learning, level of comprehension after critical review of research findings, time taken to understand the new research findings, challenges encountered during review exercise, level of satisfaction, effectiveness of the programme through improvement in service delivery besides customer responses (that is, reduced cases of complains that result from errors and low quality service providence) (Kohn et al 2000; Institute of Medicine, 2001).
Assessments of these variables would be carried out by two major methods. These include quantitative and qualitative approaches (Section 3, n.d).
With quantitative methods of evaluation, data would be collected on the population to whom the project is meant to affect. These would be grouped into two. That is, nurses who would have taken the project positively and those who would be affected negatively by the proposed project as determined by turnover rates and level of standard in performance before and after the review exercises (Section 3, n.d; Kohn et al 2000; Institute of Medicine, 2001). The method would be used during the project process, impact assessment and post-project outcomes. Results obtained would then be used to draw conclusions and possible recommendations to the stakeholders on the way forward. Quantitative approaches to be used are counting systems besides survey method.
Under counting systems, the main items to be used are three types forms (contact or encounter form, item distributed and item received forms). The forms would be designed such that all important information concerning the programme is included. These would then to record respective events of the programme. The forms would be designed as shown in appendix A.
Apart from forms, survey technique would also be adopted. This method is essential in collecting numerical data on variables being measured. Survey instruments, such as questionnaires, personal interviews, mails and telephone conversation and medical examination record forms would be used depending on the type of response expected (that is, confidential or non-confidential responses). Preparation of survey tools would depend on survey population, which includes nurses in the institution within which evaluation exercise is to be carried out (Section 3, n.d). Another important factor that I would have to consider while designing survey items is the method I intend to use while administering the items.
For instance, self-administered instruments would be shorter and easier to be followed by the respondents without my presence. Also, use of questionnaires would be administered during internal conferences in order to minimize on costs and increase response rates. A part from population and delivery method factors, survey instruments would be developed with simplicity in language and questions (Section 3, n.d). Questions on sensitive information, such as age, education, ethnicity and marital status would be include at the end of the instrument (questionnaire), as they are likely to prevent effective responses from the nurses as these types of questions draws away respondents attention from main subject of the evaluation to their daily activities (Section 3, n.d). At times, some can become uneasy disclosing certain information. Therefore, while developing questionnaires, some questions (with little impact on the evaluation subject) would set with optional feedbacks.
Further, I will emphasize on the importance of the evaluation exercise by developing appropriate title for the questionnaires and relevant introductory elements in interviews (Section 3, n.d). Reliability and validity of the instrument would be measured after the first presentations.
The main qualitative methods to be used are participant anti-observation, interviews and focus groups. These methods would help in providing in-depth information about the impacts of the proposed solution to the nurses involved in the evaluation exercise and patients affected by the quality of services provided by the nurses.
Institute of Medicine. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Kohn, L. T., Corrigan, J. M., & Donaldson, M. S. (Eds.). (2000). To err is human: Building a safer health system. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Section 3 (n.d). Methods of Evaluation. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/pub-res/dypw/04_methods.htm
Appendix A: Sample Contact Forms
Fig. 1: Sample Contact Form
Fig. 2: Sample Form for Items Received
Fig. 3: Sample Form for Items Distributed