Chapter 6. Description of Ideal
Evaluation Methods: Overview
overriding finding of our project is that in order to better understand the
context-sensitivity of the effectiveness and safety of patient safety practices
(PSPs) we need to move past the discussion of the merits of the traditional
study designs aimed at assessing causality (e.g., "randomized trials" versus
"observational studies"). We also need to pay far more attention to other
important features currently missing from most published reports of PSP
implementations. These features include:
- A presentation of why or how the PSP should work. What is the
theory supporting why this particular intervention should influence the target
patient safety outcome? What is the logic model for how the PSP should work?
- A description of the PSP in sufficient detail that readers could
replicate it. PSPs are often complex interventions and cannot be described in only
a few sentences.
- A description of key contextual domains.
- A description of the implementation process. For many PSPs, the
line between the intervention and the implementation is not sharp, and the
intervention and implementation may be considered to be a single construct.
- An assessment of what actually happened during implementation of
the PSP. What went as planned, and what happened that was unexpected?
- An assessment of the results achieved, including benefits and
- An analysis of how the effectiveness and safety of the PSP varied
as a function of the key contextual domains.
seven chapters of the report address these features in more detail.
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