program evaluation part 2
The planning and development stages of the program may require varied evaluations from time to time for a variety of reasons. Assessments are conducted with the aim of ensuring that program processes go according to the plan and meet all the expectations (Cekada, 2011). Therefore, the development of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program requires assessments in order to identify problems and respective needs.
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Performing a needs assessment at the beginning phase of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program development is essential since it facilitates production of critical information. This information is required to identify and understand various problems associated with prescription drug abuse. Particularly a needs assessment is required to determine the viability of the program in addressing the issue and its capacity for future sustainability.
Needs assessment at the beginning of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program aids in answering various questions. For instance, to what extent is the program applicable in addressing the prescription drug issue? Is the program viable in the short and long-term? What existing controls are in place and how will they be incorporated into the program? (Cekada, 2011). These are among the questions that a needs assessment will be able to shed light on before the program development is started.
The Role of the Needs Assessment
There are several roles that a needs assessment fulfils in the evaluation plan. These include:
Determination of the adequacy of monitoring program that is already in place.
Assessing the adequacy of available resources.
Assessing the accessibility of prescription drug data and information.
Acquiring relevant data for the development of goals and objectives of the new program (Cekada, 2011).
A needs assessment has a critical role of identifying the dynamics of the issue, hence determine the need for a new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. The extent and scope of prescription drug abuse is assessed to determine whether the impacts of prescription drug, with a view to the existing control measures, warrants the development and implementation of the new comprehensive Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Therefore, the assessment collects the adequate information on the extent of the current problem, the impacts of the issue to the respective communities and the healthcare industry (Cekada, 2011).
Evaluation Model for the Program
The optimal evaluation model for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program integrates two evaluation methods, Formative and Summative evaluation models. Formative evaluation model makes an assessment aimed at determining that the program is fully functioning. As a result, it aids in determination of what aspects of the program are functioning optimally; while identifying the key lessons that can be derived from the negative impacts of the program (Vedung, 2009). This model entails observation and interaction with the program; however, it does not apply experimental designs in the evaluation process.
Meanwhile, Summative evaluation model entails an overall examination of program outcomes and quality (Vedung, 2009). Summative evaluation processes are primarily conducted with the aim of aiding in decision making processes; it includes determination of the extent within which the program has attained its intended goals in consideration of the overall program costs.
The Summative program evaluation approach queries the extent that the program has achieved its intended objective or failed. It includes comprehensive factors that contributed to or impacted the public programs performance. On the other hand, a Formative program evaluation approach entails critical examination of key functions of system or program with the aim of assessing and improving performance. As a result, these program evaluation methods are essential in program development since they complement each other, hence offering a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the program.
Data Collection Sources
Pharmaceutical companies are the primary manufacturers of prescription drugs. As a result, they have detailed information and data on the impacts of various drugs manufactured. In addition, these companies keep detailed records of their distributors, hospitals, healthcare centers, chemists and retail outlets that their products are sold (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2013).
In addition, the governments through the Department of Health at the federal and state level have comprehensive data and information on the various prescription drugs in the market and statistics on their usage. Meanwhile, chemists and hospitals also keep records of the prescription drugs that have been issued or sold to customers. Therefore, these sources can provide detailed and comprehensive data on what is required for implementation of the program. These sources will provide information, such as which drugs were bought, the quantity bought, the sex and age of the consumer among other details (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2013).
Data Collection Method
The collection of data for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program would be based on the quantitative data collection method. This method is optimal because it entails the use of quantified and accurate data, since it integrates frequencies, counts, percentages, rates, and sum totals among other statistics (Garbarino & Holland, 2009). It enables the documentation of the absence or presence of an issue, its occurrence, impacts and behaviors. Essentially, the quantitative data collection enables collection of distinct information on a given subject.
This method is more preferable than the qualitative method because it is not based on descriptions, events, or narrations of behaviors as is the case in qualitative data collection method (Garbarino & Holland, 2009). Therefore, the development of an effective program requires the use of quantifiable data that enable the definition of various parameters, which are critical for success of the program. In addition, quantitative data collection methods are easily administered and are capable of integrating numerous questions (Garbarino & Holland, 2009). These have the capacity to generate large sample sets that can be easily summarized It is also a widely recognized method of collecting evidence with regard to the effectiveness or lack thereof of the program.