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Table 1 Principles underlying the Learning Evaluation

From: Learning Evaluation: blending quality improvement and implementation research methods to study healthcare innovations

Principles Reason to assess principle Ways to assess principle
Principle 1: Gather data to describe types of changes made by healthcare organizations, how changes are implemented, and the evolution of the change process To establish initial conditions for implementing innovations at each site and to describe implementation changes over time - Interview with healthcare organizations to establish detailed understanding of the plan for implementing change at baseline by engaging organizational leaders
- Use mixed methods to monitor how this plan evolves
Principle 2: Collect process and outcome data that are relevant to healthcare organizations and to the research team To engage healthcare organizations in research and in continuous learning and quality improvement - Identify target populations and process and outcome measures of interest to organizations
- Identify relevant process measures to track for selected target populations
- Track performance on selected measures at regular time intervals throughout implementation
Principle 3: Assess multi-level contextual factors that affect implementation, process, outcome, and transportability Contextual factors influence quality improvement; need to evaluate conditions under which innovations may or may not result in anticipated outcomes - Collect qualitative and quantitative contextual data in real time
- Conduct rigorous analysis to identify key contextual factors affecting outcomes
Principle 4: Assist healthcare organizations in applying data to monitor the change process and make further improvements To facilitate continuous quality improvement and to stimulate learning within and across organizations - Synthesize, summarize, and share data with organizations at regular intervals
- Discuss data with leaders to stimulate further improvement
- Assist organizations in learning from their own data to refine their innovations with a focus on continuous learning
Principle 5: Operationalize common measurement and assessment strategies with the aim of generating transportable results. To conduct internally valid cross-organization mixed methods analyses - Harmonize process and outcome measures across organizations by engaging organizational leaders
- Create a set of common measures relevant to all organizations (e.g., screening rates). This allows meaningful statistical and qualitative comparisons across organizations