Health care is costly and ever changing. When delivering care to clients we need to know that we are being effective. To be accountable to society for the quality of care delivered to clients. In order to achieve this we need to examine and investigate the services delivered, to be confident that clients are not being disadvantaged. This requires having the evidence that we are delivering effective client services.
I have been involved in many assessments of service delivery ranging from audits of clients notes, inpatients, waiting times for appointments, appointment reminders, the management of inpatients with diabetes to evaluation of education programs and perceptions of health professionals providing education services. While all assessments are important in relation to service delivery to clients, those which were significant to me revolve around the knowledge required by clients to manage their diabetes effectively. Discussion occurs on a couple of those projects which involved both inpatients and outpatients. These are looking at the diabetes management of the inpatient, evaluation of diabetes education programs as well as the health professionals’ perception to delivering education programs.
Evaluating service delivery is time consuming, however it is important in that it provides the evidence that either you can be confident you are delivering effective services for both the client and health care organisation or that it identifies improvements that need to be made. Furthermore, the evidence provides the means to argue for resources to remedy problem areas and this is important when budgets are constrained.