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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology and Quality
Improvement

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How do we evaluate our implementation?

An evaluation reveals how well a health IT project meets its purpose and objectives.  Evaluations allow us to analyze our predictions about our projects and to understand what has worked and what has not.  Lessons learned from evaluations help everyone involved in health IT implementation and adoption improve upon what they are doing.  In addition, evaluations help justify investment in health IT projects by demonstrating project impacts and outcomes. 

To begin the evaluation process, the project team needs to reflect on the goals of the implementation, both in terms of technical and clinical outcomes and processes.  The team should also consider the goals of the evaluation process.  Next, the team should brainstorm ideas for metrics to assess these goals.  For example, if one of the goals is provider adoption, then measuring the percentage of providers that log-in to the system may be an appropriate metric.  Once the metrics are identified, the goals/metrics need to be prioritized.  Factors to consider include the importance of each goal to stakeholders and the feasibility of obtaining the necessary data to evaluate each goal.  After prioritizing, the team should choose the metrics to evaluate and draft a plan regarding how each metric will be measured.       

Resources on evaluation:

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
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