Briefly describe a topic for a health program and several data sources that you have used or could use to inform the program planning process.
DEFINITION Workplace health programs are a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.
DESCRIPTION A comprehensive approach puts policies and interventions in place that address multiple risk factors and health conditions concurrently and recognizes that the interventions and strategies chosen may influence multiple organization levels including individual employee behavior change, organizational culture, and the worksite environment. It is important for the overall workplace health program to contain a combination of individual and organizational level strategies and interventions to influence health. The strategies and interventions available fall into four major categories: • Health-related programs—opportunities available to employees at the workplace or through outside organizations to begin, change, or maintain health behaviors. • Health-related policies—formal or informal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health. They affect large groups of employees simultaneously. • Health benefits—part of an overall compensation package including health insurance coverage and other services or discounts regarding health. • Environmental supports— refer to the physical factors at and nearby the workplace that help protect and enhance employee health.
Step 1. Define the desired goal of the project Step 2. Define your desired objective(s) for each goal Step 3. Define your target value Step 4. Define one or more indicators/measures for your objectives Step 5. Identify your formula to measure progress towards achieving each objective(s) Step 6. Define steps/activities (interventions) that you believe are effective toward achieving the objectives Step 7. Identify the source (s) of the data for each measure Step 8. Record the results of the steps/activities/intervention
DEFINING PROJECT GOALS One of the most important assessment questions that you can ask is, “What best practices efforts am I building on”? “What do I expect to accomplish through this project? Another way to phrase this is: What challenges/opportunity does the project address (e.g., lack of coordination for health services, poor nutrition, dental health)? Often projects are established to meet one or more specific goals and build on evidence from promising efforts. These goals and efforts are often described in the original project plans. Goals do not need to be measurable, but they must be consistent with the overall purpose and intent of what you want to accomplish. Depending on the scope and size of your project or service you may have one or more goals. Each objective with accompanying activities can cost your project thousands of dollars to include staff time, data collection, analyses and dissemination of results. Depending on the type of project to be implemented, keep in mind, the more funding you receive, the more goals and objectives you can have. You and your project staff will probably need to rethink and scale down your goals and objectives submitted in the application.
DEFINING PROJECT OBJECTIVES A prerequisite for evaluation is the development of a project plan with measurable objectives that are logically related to one another and to the goals and interventions defined in the project proposal. All project objectives should specify what is to be done and by when. It is imperative that project staff clarify the project’s objectives for each goal. You and your project staff must review your project‘s objectives, and if necessary, you may have to rewrite some of the objectives to reflect what you can measure. If your pre
DEFINING TARGET VALUES Once all aspects of the objectives have been determined, the target value must be defined and documented. The target value allows the indicators or terms to be measured, interpreted and analyzed. Without an expected target level for your measure it will be very difficult to interpret and analyze your indicator data. In other words did the plan do well or poorly on this measure? Was the measure accomplished as expected or not? The target value adds specificity to the project expectation or outcome statement(s). Remember that Quantitatively the target value is the level of change you would like to obtain for all persons described in your target population. Quantitatively, it is that level of information needed or deemed acceptable to help you/your team make decisions about your targeted actions (see Step 2b). 11 You will need to identify a value or set of information as the baseline from which to develop a meaningful analysis of the measurement of your defined target.
Define one or more indicator (s) and measure (s) for your objective Indicators are measurable approximations or variables of the results you are attempting to achieve. The types of information needed will be guided by the objective you assess. For example, when the objective refers to what you plan to do, you must collect information on the types of services, activities, or educational/training products that are developed and implemented; who received them; and their duration and intensity. When the objective concerns who will participate: you must collect information about the characteristics of the participants the numbers of participants how they were recruited barriers encountered in the recruitment process factors that facilitated recruitment When the objective pertains to who will do it: you must collect information on the characteristics of project staff (including their background and experience) how they were recruited and hired their job descriptions, the training they received to perform their jobs and the general staffing and supervisory arrangements for the project
IDENTIFYING FORMULAS TO MEASURE THE PROGRESS Once the target, indicators and measures have been identified, defined and documented, the next step is to determine and document the defined numerator and denominator that will provide a fraction or summary statement that will allow for the determination of how much progress toward achievement of the objective. This is your formula to measure project/program progress. A Formula is a method used to provide a result (in the form of a fraction or summary statement) that specify the extent to which an objective or sub-objective is achieved. To calculate a formula you must have a baseline (starting figure), numerator (top figure) and denominator (bottom figure). For purposes of the Modified Achievement Index the denominator is the target value or point of observation (in the case of qualitative objectives) and the numerator is targeted activity or type of change (quantitative or qualitative) that is to be achieved (see the example in the Modified Achievement Index).
STEPS, ACTIVITIES, TASKS OR INTERVENTIONS A critical next step after the indicator(s), measure(s), numerator(s) and denominator(s) have been defined and documented is to define and clarify what it will take to get the work done. What is to be done depends on what defines the desired result or type of objective. Steps/activities/tasks are actions that are necessary to accomplish the desired result. As shown in the Modified Achievement Index example, they are descriptions of the details or logistics. Depending on time and resources, these details can be intricate or simple. However, they must be logically linked to the indicators and measure and the desired results. For example, steps/activities/tasks for establishing an advisory group must be specific to achieving this objective; so using the advisory group to assist with the development of a needs assessment form would not fit, the latter would occur after the group has been formed and would be a part of a separate objective or sub-objective. An Intervention is any planned effort designed to produce intended changes in a target population. If the objective is focused (also) on changing something (e.g., attitude, behaviors, system operation, etc.) than it becomes necessary to identify, define and document what type(s) of intervention will be
IDENTIFYING DATA SOURCES There are four basic ways to collect assessment data: document review, observation, interview and surveys. In determining the source(s) of information/data the following must be considered: What data are on hand? What other obtainable data sources (e.g., from vital statistics, local surveys or other state and national data sources) are available? 1. Determine the Sources of Data. Sources of data may include: Client service database Client Intake profile database Interview documents or notes Meeting documents or notes Pre and post-test 2. Determine the availability of data (Need to know what you have). Which measures to use? Identify an existing set of measures - what data are already in documents on hand or in other obtainable data sources (e.g., from vital statistics, local surveys or other state and national data sources)? Identify a few sentinel (illustrative) measures - if resources are limited you may want to identify a few sentinel measures that are well known and consistent and/or target a small definable population with your measures. Identify (where possible) measures that have established baseline (starting) data- may want to use known and more broadly collected measures like those conducted by the agency, local, state or national sources (e.g., the NHIS). In the case of qualitative information, a baseline may have to be established. Remember: Measurement tools should be integrated into the flow of client service delivery and communications between providers of services at all levels.
RECORDING RESULTS Documentation of the result comes from the product of the Formula to Measure Success. As discussed earlier that formula provides a fraction or summary statement that indicates the degree to which the objective or sub-objective has been achieved within a certain time frame (e.g., by the end of six months or one year).
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