22639 Managing a Locus of Control During the 2009 H1N1 Outbreak: The Critical Role of Performance Monitoring for Program Improvement

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Grand Hall
Paul Abamonte, Mr , Evaluation Lead for Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Janelle Commins, MSPH , Research Associate, Evaluation, Management & Training Associates, Inc

Background:CDC-INFO delivers health information 24/7/365 to diverse audiences nationwide. Around-the-clock availability necessitates a system that is scalable for emerging health threats, with built-in feedback systems to ensure that reliable and accurate health information is delivered to the public, health providers, and media.  Performance monitoring and outcome evaluation contribute to this feedback loop resulting in demonstrable, measurable quality improvement. Performance monitoring has been part of the tool box for generating decision-relevant policy and program data for several decades. Until recently, however, performance monitoring has been marginal to evaluation as a recognized contributor to improved public policy. The framework for performance monitoring of CDC-INFO will be presented, with a focus on how the system was adapted for priority information needs during the Winter 2009 H1N1 outbreak, when the volume of incoming calls to CDC-INFO increased by more than 50 percent. Three of four calls related to H1N1 or immunization.

Setting: Health services and public health programming provided by clinics, counseling and testing centers, and educational settings.

Population: Communities that receive public health services including populations at risk for H1N1 and seasonal flu, hepatitis, and other vaccine preventable illnesses.

Project Description: The speakers will present the CDC-INFO performance monitoring system shaped from the policy world and its adaptations for CDC information needs during episodic events. Examples of when evaluation techniques were brought in to answer key questions will be illustrated, and include: a) the development of select stakeholder products that employ real time data to fulfill multiple operation needs, e.g., for training and coaching; and b) the incorporation of health impact evaluation for monitoring the return on this public investment.

Results/Lessons Learned: Public health professionals informed in evaluation will better utilize performance monitoring complementing traditional evaluation by linking evaluative data more closely to policy and management decisions.

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