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Rural Health Information Hub

Evaluation Frameworks

Rural services integration programs are conducting evaluations to track process and outcome measures to determine how well the program achieves its goals. Identifying an appropriate evaluation framework is a key component of the evaluation design and important for evaluation planning. The best framework for evaluation often depends on the type of program you are evaluating and the resources available for conducting evaluation activities. For example, there are several different methodologies devoted to care coordination evaluation frameworks and telehealth programs evaluation.

Frameworks that have been used to evaluate services integration programs include:

  • Process Evaluation
    Assesses whether the program is being implemented as originally intended, what services are being delivered, who is receiving those services, and perceptions of the program among stakeholders.
  • Outcome Evaluation
    Assesses the extent to which a project achieved its stated outcome goals and provides recommendations for future program improvements.
  • Impact Evaluation
    Assesses a program's effect on participants and stakeholders, including outcomes and the changes that resulted from those outcomes.
  • Performance Monitoring
    Assesses baseline metrics compared to other data points at key points in time on a continuous basis throughout program implementation. Services integration programs are using the Plan-Do-Study-Act framework to integrate new knowledge, make midcourse corrections, and implement continuous improvements into their programs.
  • Cost-benefit Evaluation
    Assesses the relationship between the project costs and the outcomes (or benefits). Policy makers, funding organizations, and other stakeholders can use evaluation findings to determine whether an investment in program development and implementation yields significant outcomes of interest.
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
    Some rural services integration programs are calculating the ROI for their program by examining healthcare savings and social cost savings.