Refining and re-evaluating your pilot study
Here we will consider techniques and tools to further evaluate pilot studies and how to measure the impact of change. This will allow you to measure the success of your innovation.
You may wish to measure your success and the impact of your innovation project, for example, after one, three and six months. Continuing to objectively monitor the success of your innovation project is important in evaluating impact on any changes you have made on other aspects of your service.
When evaluating the impact of service innovation it is important to go back to consider where you started and what did you set out to do. At this point you want to introduce some level of measurement of the impact of your service. Measurement of your improvement is a critical part of testing and implementing change. It allows you, the innovator, to understand if your innovation has truly made an improvement and quantify the impact of the change. It is important however to appreciate that you also need a criterion of success that define what you, or your service, considers to be an improvement.
When measuring the impact of your innovation, you need to develop your aims and objectives (including your criterion for success) and then design measurement tools to help you fulfil your aims and objectives.
Recall that we discussed measuring your current service to define your starting point. You can use the same techniques to measure the impact of your innovation and in order to remain consistent and compare results before and after you will find it helpful to use the same techniques to evaluate your innovation.
Auditing can be a powerful technique to allow healthcare professionals to assess, evaluate and measure the performance of a service in a systematic way and can be used to measure current practice against a defined standard and therefore can be an excellent tool to measure the impact of your innovation. The ‘Audit Cycle’ provides a convenient framework to undertake audit.
Reflect on how you could measure the impact of change for your own innovation, and share your thoughts via the comments.