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Asthma Program Evaluation

Program evaluation methods allow the Illinois Department of Public Health Illinois Asthma Program (program) to systematically investigate effectiveness, implementation, outcome, and impact. Evaluation findings will be used by various direct and indirect stakeholders to guide decision-making and make program improvements.

Its purpose is to measure how well the program is doing, to see if the program is reaching its goals, and how it might better do so, and to inform progress and to guide its future activities.

Evaluators’ Roles

  • To collect and compile data on indicators that tell how well the program is doing
  • To analyze and interpret these data
  • To report to stakeholders affected by the program what the data say about how various aspects of the program are functioning
  • To draw conclusions about what changes could be made to improve the program

Evaluators Perform Their Roles in Ways That:

  • Ensure accuracy and credibility
  • Safeguard resources and contextual factors
  • Positively interact with diverse groups of stakeholders
  • Display honesty and integrity throughout the processes
  • Provide well-written documents that are widely understood
  • Provide results are clear, including any limitations of the evaluation studies

Evaluation Planning Team Member Characteristics

Stakeholders from various aspects of the Illinois Asthma Program are invited to join evaluation planning teams to provide the evaluators with feedback and input. They have included community health workers, directors of home visiting programs, program staff, members of related organizations, program clients, academics, and others with related experience.

Creating the evaluation plans and reviewing evaluation results is a shared activity among all who may be affected by them.

  • Varying interests
  • Volunteer
  • Ethical
  • Culturally competent
  • Open communication
  • Candid

Strategic Evaluation Plan

The Strategic Evaluation Plan was developed for the entire five years (2019-2024) for which the program has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Within the plan, four evaluation projects have been outlined and a detailed plan for each is presented. As the plans and projects are carried out, the results will be displayed here.

The first prioritized Individual Evaluation Plan was completed in Fall 2020. Its purpose is to assess the types of change in health improvement by measuring the cost savings associated with indicators of health improvement, such as reduced emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations due to asthma. These findings could be used to establish a business case for third party payers, like Medicaid, on the positive return of investment they could experience by reimbursing asthma home visiting programs.

The second prioritized Individual Evaluation Plan, Benefits of Home Visiting, was completed in Spring 2021. The plan seeks to better understand the benefits of the asthma home visiting programs in Illinois. It will look at trends over time specifically focusing on asthma self-management knowledge, asthma control, and quality of life among program completers and non-completers. The plan also includes insight into tobacco exposure over time among home visiting participants. The evaluation findings may be used as evidence to support program improvements and achieve healthy communities and improve health equities and outcomes. In 2020, the evaluation team also created a grant deliverable that highlights the considerable and unique work of the state’s funded home visiting programs (Home Visiting Collaborative (HVC) Profiles).

The third prioritized Individual Evaluation Plan was also completed in Spring 2021. Its purpose is to better understand the effectiveness of the Community Health Worker (CHW) Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO) training program and monitor expansion of asthma home visiting programs. The findings may be used as evidence to support program improvements and expansion.

In 2022, the Evaluation Team updated the Strategic Evaluation Plan. Part of the updates included an additional individual evaluation plan. This plan was completed in April 2022 and serves a dual purpose. First, to evaluate the effectiveness of the coordinated care approach led by Respiratory Health Association. Second, to measure the impact of the approach compared to the standardized Community Health Worker Home Visiting-only program. The findings may be used to support program improvements to achieve healthy communities and reduce health inequities.