NURS 6431 Week 7: Evaluation Methodology Planning

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NURS 6431: Evaluation Methods for Health Information Technology | Week 7

Imagine you have recently started a new job as the first nurse informaticist to be employed in a large community clinic. To prepare you for your duties, you receive the following job description:

Your primary responsibility will be the implementation of health informatics technology systems and all necessary support processes. Your supplemental responsibilities will include developing systems to meet stakeholder desires, planning personnel training, and maintaining current systems. In addition, you will be responsible for implementing and maintaining quality initiatives. All of these duties should be completed in a timely fashion and within budget.

On the first day of work, you are shown to your cubicle, and no further instructions are given. When you attempt to obtain further information, management states that you are in a new position and that they are still unclear about your role. How would you feel? Where would you start? Think of the details not included—such relevant information as what systems are currently in use, the identity of key stakeholders, budgets, and current plans—and how their absence influences your ability to be effective as a nurse informaticist.

The situation above indicates a lack of planning on the health care organization’s part. The organization’s leadership decided hiring a nurse informaticist would be useful but lacked a clearly defined methodology for integrating the field of informatics into their organization. This lack of methodology has promoted a rushed, expensive, and poorly understood hiring and onboarding process. Had the leadership developed a clear methodology, they could have minimized waste and improved understanding.

The same clarity is essential when designing the actual methodology for implementing an evaluation plan. All details of the evaluation procedure should be carefully identified, and the evaluation methodology should be written in unambiguous language. Someone unfamiliar with the project or process should be able to gain a clear picture of what the evaluation addresses and how it will be conducted simply from reading the plan. This week, you consider evaluation methodology planning and what is involved in creating a plan that is thorough and focused.

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Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the characteristics of strong and weak evaluation methodologies
  • Analyze the process of developing an evaluation methodology plan from a PICO question
  • Create an evaluation methodology plan for a PICO question*

NURS 6431 Week 7: Evaluation Methodology Planning essay assignment

Developing a relevant PICO question that accurately addresses the goal of an evaluation and then locating the most current information on the topic are both key steps in the evaluation process; however, of equal or greater importance is the development of the methodology to gather the data that will answer the PICO question. This is where the evaluator must determine the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how” of the evaluation. The evaluation methodology outlines the specific steps that will be taken to complete the evaluation. Who will be involved? What sort of research design should be used? Where is the evaluation taking place? How much time will the evaluation require, and how many participants are needed? How will the evaluation be conducted? It is imperative that the evaluator takes the time to make sure a methodology plan is clear, specific, and thorough.

In this Discussion, you critique a series of poorly constructed evaluation methodology plans, identify areas of weakness, and recommend how they can be improved.

The following scenarios will be used for this Discussion:

Scenario #1: Agnes, the nurse informaticist at a small rural hospital, has been asked to develop an evaluation plan to determine the success of an upcoming training program for the launch of a new computerized nursing documentation system. Agnes has developed the following methodology plan:

“I will speak to participants immediately after the training program to determine the success of the training. They will be asked about the instructor, if the training was a good time length, if there were enough breaks, and if the training location was comfortable. After the implementation, I will ask the physicians and nurses if they like using the new nursing documentation system and how much time it saves them weekly.”

Scenario #2: Maria, a nurse informaticist in a large surgical center, has been asked to develop an evaluation of the implementation of a new Operating Room Management System (ORMS) that includes scheduling, case cart management, and surgical case documentation. Maria has developed the following evaluation methodology plan:

“I will conduct a 30-minute interview with each nurse in the surgical ward to determine his or her impressions of the new ORMS. I will ask them to specify how they log into the system, to detail how often they use it each day, to describe what types of information they utilize, and to provide a detailed list of issues they encounter. I will have the nurses rank 50 different characteristics of the ORMS on a 1 to 100 scale. In addition, I will ask each surgeon to document his or her impressions of the case documentation functions.”

Scenario # 3: The CEO of the hospital system in a major metropolitan area is a brusque, hard-to-please individual. Carl, a newly hired nurse informaticist, has been tasked with developing an evaluation to correspond with the implementation of a health analytic system that the CEO has hand-picked. Carl has developed the following evaluation methodology plan:

“I will arrange one morning where groups of three nurses at a time will have a 15-minute, face-to face meeting with the CEO to both answer his questions and discuss their experiences using the new health analytic system tool. By having this candid dialogue, but without structured questions or parameters, a good overall understanding of the value of the analytic system should be obtained.”

To prepare:

  • Review the three evaluation methodology plans outlined within the scenarios above.
  • Critique each plan. Is it concrete? Is it specific? What are the strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Based on this week’s Learning Resources, recommend at least two changes that would strengthen each plan.
  • Research the Walden Library to find an example in the literature of an evaluation study that has a strong evaluation methodology plan, and assess why you believe it to be strong.
  • Consider your own PICO question and the elements that would need to be included in the methodology plan to adequately answer this question.

NURS 6431 Week 7: Evaluation Methodology Planning essay assignment

By Day 3

Post a brief critique of each of the evaluation methodology plans. Describe how each could be strengthened. Briefly summarize the evaluation study you identified in the Walden Library (include the reference in proper APA format), and explain the elements that made you conclude it has a strong methodology component. Describe how you can utilize what you have observed in both the poor and the strong methodology evaluation plans to ensure that you develop an appropriate methodology to answer your PICO question. Outline specific elements that would need to be clearly identified in your evaluation methodology, and explain why they are important to include.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.
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