Evaluation: what to consider

Commonly asked questions about how to approach evaluation of quality improvement in health care

March 2015

Thumbnail

Questions covered

  • Why do an evaluation?
  • What are the different types of evaluation?
  • What are the design considerations for an evaluation? 
  • What are we comparing our intervention with?
  • How does evaluation differ from other forms of measurement? 
  • What practical issues should we consider?
  • When should we start and finish an evaluation?
  • How do we cope with changes in the intervention when the evaluation is underway? 
  • Should we do the evaluation ourselves or commission an external team?
  • How do we communicate evaluation findings?

Evaluation is an essential part of quality improvement and when done well, it can help solve problems, inform decision making and build knowledge.

While evaluation comes in many shapes and sizes, its key purpose is to help us to develop a deeper understanding of how best to improve health care.

People involved in quality improvement often ask us about how to approach evaluation. Inspired by the most commonly asked questions, this guide is intended to assist those new to evaluation by suggesting methodological and practical considerations and providing resources to support further learning.

The guide is not prescriptive or step-by-step as people and organisations will have very diverse evaluation needs. Evaluation is an essential part of quality improvement and when done well it can help solve problems, inform decision making and build knowledge.

Further reading

Research report

Context for successful quality improvement

This best evidence review combines the ideas of receptive and non-receptive contexts for change, with a psychological perspec...

You might also like...

Blog

Artificial intelligence in the NHS: getting the priorities right

The NHS’s new AI lab needs to focus on the needs of patients and the health system, argue Adam Steventon, Sarah Deeny, Josh K...

Invitation to tender

ITT: Summative Evaluation of the Flow Coaching Academy Programme

The deadline for responses is 12.00 on Tuesday 5 November 2019.

Apply now

Blog

A combined effort for autism: lessons from the community for the health system

Research shows 88% of autistic people do not think their needs are understood by health professionals. Emily Niner and Oliver...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy - only-wan.info

Get social

OnlyWan

Improvements in life expectancy have stalled. We're launching new analysis later this year to explore what's happen…

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 - only-wan.info

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the OnlyWan has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2 - only-wan.info

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more