8: No. 5, September 2011
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
Using a Concept Map as a Tool for Strategic Planning: The Healthy Brain Initiative
Figure 1 shows the final cluster map for the The Healthy Brain Initiative (10). The figure shows 8 clusters, which vary in size and shape. Each cluster is made up of a series of points that represent the individual action items generated by the work groups and reformatted for the concept-mapping
software. Items in a cluster are more similar to one another than they
are to items in other clusters. The size of a cluster reflects the similarity
of the items and the number of items in the cluster. How close together the clusters appear on the map reflects how similar the items are
in those clusters. Seven of the clusters are located on the periphery of the graphic, forming an elliptical circle. Only 1 cluster, “Developing Capacity,” is surrounded completely by others.
Starting with the cluster labeled “Disseminating Information” (placed at the top) and moving clockwise, the next cluster is “Translating Knowledge.” The next set of 2 clusters, appearing closely together at the right, is “Moving Research into Practice” and “Conducting Intervention Research.” At the bottom, directly opposite the top cluster, is “Measuring Cognitive Impairment and Burden.” To the left is “Conducting Surveillance.” Moving directly up is the most central of the clusters, “Developing Capacity.” The eighth cluster, to the far left, is “Implementing Policy.”
Figure 1. Final concept map that served as the framework for
The Healthy Brain Initiative: A National Public Health Road Map to Maintaining Cognitive Health
(10). Points on the map represent the items as entered in the concept mapping software. Items in a cluster are more similar to
one another than they are to items in other clusters. The number of action items
in a cluster and their similarity determine the shape, boundaries, and size of each cluster.
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Figure 2 shows the “go-zone” for the cluster “Implementing Policy.”
It consists of a rectangle on which the vertical y-axis on the left is labeled “action potential”
and is scaled from 2.6 to 3.45, with a potential range of 1 (no action
potential) to 4 (high action potential). The horizontal x-axis is
labeled “importance” and is scaled from 3.3 to 4.2, with a potential
range of 1 (relatively unimportant) to 5 (extremely important). Inside
the rectangle are nested 4 smaller rectangles, or quadrants drawn from
the intersection of the average importance (3.9) and the average action
potential (3.1). Points, associated with numbers, appear in the
rectangles. The action items that appear in the rectangle are
represented by a unique item number assigned during the rating process.
The location of each item within 1 of the 4 quadrants reflects the average rating of the item by
importance and action potential. The average rating is derived from the
ratings by the stakeholders who participated in the rating process.
The upper right quadrant of the rectangle is the “go-zone” and displays the items that were rated as most actionable and important. The quadrant diagonal to the go-zone depicts those items that were rated on average as the least actionable and important. Directly below the go-zone is a quadrant with items that were, on average, rated important but less actionable. Finally, on the left-side of the go-zone quadrant, is a quadrant with items that were, on average, rated actionable but less important.
||Items Included in the
Rating Process From the Cluster “Implementing Policy”
||Develop creative and replicable means for raising public awareness about and engaging the public in promoting the importance of cognitive health through policy.
||Develop and implement a strategy to have cognitive health included in Healthy People 2020.
||Identify and promote appropriate strategic partnerships among associations, government agencies, insurers and payers, private industry, public organizations, elected officials to support and advance policy related to cognitive health.
||Educate federal, state, and local officials responsible for addressing issues concerning the older population, lifestyle factors, or diseases/conditions related to cognitive health to initiate and support policy changes to promote cognitive health.
||Engage national organizations/agencies that focus on the older populations, and educate these agencies about cognitive health and its connection to the mission of their organization.
||Develop and implement a strategy to include subjects related to cognitive health in curricula for continuing professional education of health and human services professionals.
||Convene policy experts to identify and examine current policies (eg, national policy, state policy, private sector policy) that could be modified, modernized, or broadened to include cognitive health.
||Include cognitive decline in the State of Aging and Health in America report when population-level data are available.
||Promote the modification of existing national and state public health plans that address key health issues related to cognitive health to include cognitive health in their strategies or recommendations where appropriate.
Figure 2. A sample go-zone analysis for 1 of the clusters,
“Implementing Policy,” in the
final concept map for
The Healthy Brain Initiative: A National Public Health Road Map to
Maintaining Cognitive Health. Each dot represents an action item and is
identified by a unique number. Items were scored for importance (from 1,
relatively unimportant, to 5, extremely important) and action potential
(from 1, no action potential, to 4, high action potential) during a
rating process. The upper right quadrant, or go-zone, highlighted in
green, displays items rated as most actionable and important.
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