Evaluation: From Learning to Action
(ASSIST Project Director Dr. Rashad Massoud gives plenary remarks at the AEA Annual Conference in Washington, DC; November 11, 2017. Photo credit: Danielle Goldman.)
This November, the American Evaluation Association converged for their 31st Annual Conference. Along the course of one week, “Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action” brought together cross-sector participants to spark the spread of ideas in the sector of evaluation.
Dr. Rashad Massoud presented a closing plenary session, entitled, “The Role of Evaluation in Improving Healthcare: A Call for Embedded Evaluation.”
Session Summary: The field of healthcare improvement aims at improving outcomes of care by testing and implementing changes to healthcare processes. Evaluation plays a key role in understanding whether an improvement activity “worked”. More importantly, evaluation can advance our understanding of the attribution and generalizability of the changes we are testing and implementing. Evaluation can, therefore, play a key role in helping improvers understand “why” and “how” an improvement activity worked. This session calls for an increased collaboration between evaluators and improvers through embedded evaluation.
There is what we do and then there is how we do it. When we are working on improving healthcare, we are practically never in the area of what we do. That is – we don’t try to determine which medicines work best for what. That is in the realm of efficacy. We are in the realm of effectiveness. We take things that are known to be efficacious and we implement them in the real life context in which they need to happen.