Monitor and Evaluate Program Implementation

Key to Success 4 of Public Health Strategies to Help Cancer Survivors in Rural Communities

“I don’t think this project would’ve been a success without the evaluation piece.”

Monitoring and evaluation help public health programs stay on track and improve over time. To begin, define achievable goals and outcomes. Next, develop systematic data collection approaches that measure meaningful indicators of your progress. For example, pilot sites surveyed participants before and after Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) sessions to assess changes in knowledge about cancer survivorship. They also monitored patient navigations using a system to record patient encounters, barriers to care, resources shared, and follow-up action items.

“The evaluation [plan] kept us straight. Throughout the project, it helped us focus. We would get into meetings sometimes, and we would have these discussions, and [the evaluator] would remind us, well, this is what we’re after, guys. These are our goals, or this is what Project ECHO says.…I don’t think this project would’ve been a success without the evaluation piece.” [South Carolina]

Insights from Pilot Sites

  • Identify indicators and data sources that can help you improve your program over time.
  • Use activity logs to document the status of activities and barriers and facilitators to implementation. Remember to collect data from your partners when needed.
  • Develop ECHO logs to record information on the number of sessions conducted, attendees, and session content. Work with Project ECHO partners to access records when needed.
  • Survey rural providers before and after ECHO sessions to understand changes in providers’ knowledge or capacity.
  • Survey patient navigators to track completed activities and understand barriers and facilitators to high-quality patient navigation services.
  • Use the navigation process to document encounters with survivors, barriers to care, resources used, and referrals made to resolve obstacles.

Related Resources

Survivorship Compendium
Repository of tools and resources for oncology providers to improve survivorship care
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Survivorship Care Educational Opportunities
Educational opportunities for oncology providers to increase knowledge of survivorship care
American Society of Clinical Oncology

Project ECHO
Information and resources about the ECHO model
University of New Mexico

Executive Training on Navigation and Survivorship
Free online course on the nuts and bolts of navigation and survivorship program development and implementation
George Washington University Cancer Center

More Keys to Success for Improving Care for Cancer Survivors in Rural Areas