MA PCMH Eval Week: Valerie Konar on Getting Evaluation Results through Project Management

Hello. I am Valerie Konar from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research and Project Manager for the evaluation of the Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative. I’d like to share some tips about managing a complex multi-stakeholder project.

When the project began, these three groups operated in separate silos:

Konar 1

When the evaluation team needed data about the project to complete its evaluation, communication with the implementation team became essential as they were the gatekeepers to the study group of primary care practice sites. Members of the implementation team wanted the evaluation results to assist them with quality improvement, so the evaluation team had to determine which results could be shared without compromising the evaluation. Finally, external stakeholders wanted to learn about the project’s progress, so the evaluation team produced evidence-based reports for them.

As the project progressed, data and reports began to link and overlap among the three groups. The evaluation team remained in control of its data at all times and determined what information could be shared and how to share it.

Konar 2

Lessons Learned: A single project manager working with all groups (i.e., teams and stakeholders) can:

  • be the consistent contact and can answer questions regarding requests and reports. This allows teams to focus on their own tasks.
  • maximize data collection response rates by simplifying and communicating the ask, monitoring responses, using the implementation team to engage the study group, and sending reminders.

Hot Tips: Create an overview of the evaluation activities including names of people involved, data needed to answer evaluation questions, data collection tool purpose, description of administrative activities, timeline of requests and report deadlines. This overview can be used by other evaluators to appreciate all components of the evaluation. It can explain data requests to the study group so they understand where their time and effort is going and how they may benefit from the information. External stakeholders can see the breadth of data needed for a comprehensive evaluation.

Engage and communicate with external stakeholders and implementation staff. Invite implementation staff to evaluation meetings to discuss administration and results. Inform stakeholders where they can find both formative and summative evaluation reports.

Incorporate evaluation activities and timelines in all project correspondence, websites and documents:

  • List (and continually update) requests and report distribution
  • Post evaluation activities, timelines and reports on the project website
  • Present results in webinars with external stakeholders

Insert evaluation activities into project contracts to ensure compliance and instill evaluation as integral to the project.

Provide evaluation data to study subjects. Study subjects want to know how they are doing and information engages them in the process.

Rad Resource: Create a Gantt Chart timeline that everyone can read and understand.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative (PCMHI) week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members who work with the Massachusetts Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative (PCMHI). Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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