Spring 2018 Generations

GENERATIONS – Journal of the American Society on Aging

Monitoring and Evaluation: Key Steps for Long-Term Services and Supports Organizations By Julie Solomon

A step-by-step plan outlines how to conduct monitoring and evaluation to demonstrate community reach and positive outcomes.

T he Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) aimed to change healthcare deliv- ery and long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems for older adults, with the ultimate goal of providing the right services, at the right time, for each older American (The SCAN Foundation, 2015). These changes in the healthcare land- scape, along with an increased understanding of the effects of social determinants on health, have opened opportunities for healthcare entities and community-based organizations (CBO) to become partners in care and support. CBOs’ suc- cess in entering into and maintaining such part- nerships depends partially on their ability to demonstrate reach in the community, better patient experience of care, improved health out- comes, and lower costs to the healthcare system (Shier et al., 2013; Miller, Nath, and Line, 2017). This need to show outcomes makes monitoring

and evaluation (M&E) an essential practice for CBOs. This article provides an overview of the M&E process, to help CBOs plan systematically for M&E so they can collect and use data to improve programming and communicate value and les- sons learned to current and potential partners and other stakeholders. What Is M&E? M&E can include a wide range of activities, such as documenting how many older adults receive a service, how satisfed they are with that service, and the impacts on their health and well-being as a result of the service. Evaluation is a broad term that can be defned as the systematic col- lection, analysis, and interpretation of data (or information) to inform judgments about whether a program or service has met its objectives, sup-

abstract Recent changes in healthcare and long-term services and supports systems have created opportunities for community-based organizations (CBO) to partner with healthcare entities to serve older adults. With such opportunities comes the need for CBOs to conduct monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to demonstrate community reach and positive patient and system outcomes. Developing an M&E plan, executing agreements, developing data collection tools, collecting data, analyzing and interpreting it, and communicating and using findings are key M&Esteps that can improve programming and com- municate value and lessons learned to all stakeholders. | key words : monitoring and evaluation, M&E, community reach, improved outcomes

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