The communication process in the health care process is regarded as one of the most important factors that help to define the requirements of the treatment process, as well as coordinate the health care processes in general. The outcome evaluation is closely associated with the entire communication process, as it is the preliminary tool for defining the effectiveness of the entire communication and treatment process.
Outcome evaluation is generally needed for developing reliable logic models for measuring plan resources, as well as developing a prevention model if possible. Therefore, the Center for Decease Control and Prevention develops the practice for outcome evaluation for stimulating the innovations associated with the detect program effects. As it is emphasized by Berry (2007, p. 345):
More efficient and timely detection of these effects will enhance our ability to translate findings into practice. Guided by the steps and standards in the framework, our basic approach to program planning will also evolve. Findings from prevention research will lead to program plans that are clearer and more logical; stronger partnerships will allow collaborators to focus on achieving common goals.
In the light of this statement, it should be emphasized that the actual value for the outcome evaluation principle is explained by the opportunity to integrate systematic support systems. These systems are also important for effective problem measurement, and these are used for an effective guide of changes needed for proper implementation of public health strategies.
In comparison with other evaluation systems, the outcome evaluation combines implementation strategy and risk management into a single system. Consequently, the outcome evaluation approach helps to identify the possible risks and undertake all the necessary mitigation measures for changing the framework. Additionally, outcome evaluation presupposes the resort to a positivist approach that is generally helpful for effective observation and analysis of the strategy in general. Therefore, it is emphasized by Hornik (2002, p. 183) that:
Evaluators often tailor evaluations for producing results that can have a direct influence on the improvement of the structure of a program. The evaluation of a novel educational intervention may produce results that indicate no improvement in students’ marks. This may be due to the intervention not having a sound theoretical background, or it may be that the intervention is not run according to the way it was created to run.
Therefore, the key evaluation strategy should be based on assessing the outcomes, and offer the necessary changes if these outcomes are not suitable. Considering the principles of health communication, it should be emphasized that the actual value of the proper measurement is explained by the necessity to structure the communication process and identify aspects that should be paid special attention to. Outcome evaluation principles will be helpful in identifying these aspects, and these may be also used for proper assessment of the results caused by possible violations of the process, or unexpected risks that were not included in the outcome evaluation framework. (Berry, 2004)
The limitations of this method are closely linked with the key elements of the tool, as evaluation framework automatically means that the strategy can not overcome the initially stated barriers, and involve changes associated with the mitigation actions.
Outcome evaluation in public health is generally needed for proper clarifying of the assessment strategy, as well as assessment of the communication process in general. This involves communication and risk management principles jointly.
Berry, D. (2007). Health Communication: Theory and Practice. Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.
Berry, D. (2004). Risk, Communication and Health Psychology. Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.
Hornik, R. C. (Ed.). (2002). Public Health Communication: Evidence for Behavior Change. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.