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Outcomes are events, occurrences, or conditions that indicate progress toward achievement of the purpose of the program. Outcomes reflect the results of a program activity compared to its intended purpose, or answer the question "Will these resources result or contribute to the success of what we want to accomplish?"

Outcomes can be viewed from two different perspectives—ultimate and intermediate. For an occupational safety and health research program like NIOSH, end outcomes are reductions in a particular type of worker injury or disease. Injuries and illnesses have complex causes, and any effect of program activities on rates can take years to be seen. Therefore, outcomes are often measured on an intermediate timeframe. Intermediate outcomes are necessary steps that lead to ultimate outcomes, e.g., reductions in the risk of a particular type of injury or illness. For occupational safety and health research programs, achieving intermediate risk reductions is as important as achieving the ultimate outcome of decreases in injury and illness incidence rates.

The Emergency Preparedness and Response Cross-Sector will develop a formal program to assess intermediate and end outcomes of the cross-sector over the next 18 months. As an integral component of this program, the EPR cross-sector will develop a lessons-learned database to track feedback, advice, and requirements from the response and recovery worker community. The intent of the database will be to provide effective communication of lessons learned from unique emergency response situations to the full response and recovery community, to enhance existing response procedures and training, and to guide future NIOSH research. Formal and regular dissemination of these lessons learned, associated updated guidance, and continuing challenges will enhance the ability of emergency responders and recovery workers to avoid or minimize death, injury, and disease outcomes.