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Posted: September 18th, 2023

Assignment: Assessing a Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation

Assignment: Assessing a Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation
Program/policy evaluation is a valuable tool that can help strengthen the quality of programs/policies and improve outcomes for the populations they serve. Program/policy evaluation answers basic questions about program/policy effectiveness. It involves collecting and analyzing information about program/policy activities, characteristics, and outcomes. This information can be used to ultimately improve program services or policy initiatives.
Nurses can play a very important role assessing program/policy evaluation for the same reasons that they can be so important to program/policy design. Nurses bring expertise and patient advocacy that can add significant insight and impact. In this Assignment, you will practice applying this expertise and insight by selecting an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflecting on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program/policy.
To Prepare:
Review the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template provided in the Resources.
Select an existing healthcare program or policy evaluation or choose one of interest to you and get approval to use it from your Instructor.
Review the healthcare program or policy evaluation and reflect on the criteria used to measure the effectiveness of the program or policy described.
The Assignment: (2–3 pages)
Based on the program or policy evaluation you selected, complete the Healthcare Program/Policy Evaluation Analysis Template. Be sure to address the following:
Describe the healthcare program or policy outcomes.
How was the success of the program or policy measured?
How many people were reached by the program or policy selected?
How much of an impact was realized with the program or policy selected?
At what point in program implementation was the program or policy evaluation conducted?
What data was used to conduct the program or policy evaluation?
What specific information on unintended consequences was identified?
What stakeholders were identified in the evaluation of the program or policy? Who would benefit most from the results and reporting of the program or policy evaluation? Be specific and provide examples.
Did the program or policy meet the original intent and objectives? Why or why not?
Would you recommend implementing this program or policy in your place of work? Why or why not?
Identify at least two ways that you, as a nurse advocate, could become involved in evaluating a program or policy after 1 year of implementation.
Evaluating a Diabetes Prevention Program
The diabetes prevention program selected for this evaluation is a community-based lifestyle intervention called the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). This program was launched in 2017 with the goal of preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes.
The primary outcomes targeted by the National DPP included reducing body weight by 7% and increasing physical activity to at least 150 minutes per week for those at high risk for developing diabetes. Success of the program was measured through metrics such as weight loss, changes in waist circumference and BMI, as well as participation in and adherence to the lifestyle recommendations.
Over the first year of implementation, the National DPP reached over 500 high-risk individuals across five counties in our state. Participation was voluntary and individuals were referred by primary care providers, diabetes educators and through community outreach efforts.
Preliminary one-year results show that 60% of participants achieved the weight loss goal of 7% or more. Average weight loss among all participants was 9 pounds. In addition, 75% reported meeting the physical activity target of 150 minutes per week. These impacts have the potential to delay or prevent new cases of diabetes in this at-risk population over time.
This initial program evaluation was conducted approximately 12 months after launch, allowing sufficient time for participants to complete the core year-long lifestyle intervention. Data was collected through medical record reviews, participant surveys, and utilization of a centralized database to track biometric and participation metrics.
One unintended positive consequence identified was that participants reported improved cholesterol levels and blood pressure in addition to weight loss. However, it was also found that participation among minority and low-income groups was lower than expected. Barriers to access for these populations will need further exploration.
Stakeholders engaged in providing feedback included participants, primary care providers, community centers that hosted sessions, and county public health officials. Participants and providers would benefit most from reporting on improved health outcomes and potential cost savings from diabetes cases avoided.
Overall, the National DPP appears to have met its original objectives of facilitating weight loss and increased physical activity to prevent diabetes based on the first year results. Continued evaluation will be important to track longer term health impacts and cost-effectiveness. As an advocate for patients, I could get involved by assisting with the participant survey process or serving on an advisory board to identify ways to improve access and participation among underserved groups.
In summary, this initial program evaluation demonstrates the National DPP’s effectiveness at reducing risk factors for diabetes through lifestyle changes. With some enhancements to address equity issues, it shows promise as an intervention worth implementing in more communities. Ongoing monitoring will further strengthen the program and outcomes over time.

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