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Three Examples of Research used for Evaluation of Healthcare Organizations

In healthcare organizations, evaluation is used as a means for showing the value certain efforts and procedures add to patient care. Evaluation findings can help clarify what and how certain programs, processes, and products promote healthcare organization’s mission and goals. There are three types of research used to evaluate healthcare organizations which include action, qualitative and quantitative research.

The first research method used in evaluation is action research. This method is a mixed method approach to research which uses both quantitative and qualitative data collection strategies (Cottrell & McKenzie, 2010). In health care organizations, the intent of action research includes generalization to a population of individuals extending beyond the organization under study.

The second research method used in the evaluation of healthcare organization is qualitative research. Block (2006) says that qualitative research methods are characterized as those which aim to explore meaning and traditionally produce non-numerical data. During the evaluation process, qualitative research informs policy makers about the experiences and attitudes of the patients, the community, or healthcare delivery in health care setting (Block, 2006).

Quantitative research is the third method used to evaluate healthcare organizations. Block (2006) says that quantitative research methodology uses standardized and scheduled questionnaires and employs the statistical manipulation of numerical analysis as the main method of analysis (Block, 2006). During the evaluation process, quantitative research provides the ability to discern patterns over time such as illness and diseases gives the impression of certainty and provides useful illustration of trends.   

The Purpose of Conducting the Research to Evaluate Programs

The purpose of conductingaction research in healthcare program is to evaluate the efficiency of the entire system and related potential social impacts. Action research plays a fundamental role in evaluating delivery of healthcare programs, determining the cost efficacy, quality improvement, patient safety, and cost reduction methods (Anderson & Aydin, 2005). Evaluation through action research provides new and better information to administrators and healthcare providers.

The purpose of quantitative research in healthcare setting is that it is used to evaluate very important theories such as the effects of new drugs and treatments on patients, often using randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Bassett (2006) says that quantitative research can provide vital information relating to side effects and the effectiveness of new drugs on huge sample populations in many centers.

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Qualitative research helps individuals to evaluate how health care really can affect the patient. Bassett (2006) indicated that qualitative research provides vital information on attitudes and satisfaction which in turn can be used to improve care. 

Values of Efficiency, Effectiveness, Individual Rights, and Social Equity

Action research promotes social equity. This is because it is a collaborative approach to research that combines methods of inquiry with community capacity-building strategies to bridge the gap between knowledge produced through research and what is practiced in communities to improve health (Cottrell & McKenzie, 2010). Action research promotes social equity as it examines the fair distribution of both the benefits and the burdens of health services among individuals and populations being studies. 

Quantitative research promotes efficiency at getting to the structural features in a health care setting. The use quantitative research brings efficiency through comparing the cost of an intervention and the benefits obtained by the individual or population being studied. The efficiency of quantitative research is measured in terms of the degree of health gained based on a clinical perspective or a quality of life measure (Block, 2006). Quantitative research also promotes effectiveness through the benefits of health services measured by improvements in health in a real population.  

Qualitative research promotes effectiveness because it illustrates the benefits of health services measured by improvements in health in as real population. Block (2006) noted that these improvements can measured through qualitative research from a clinical perspective such as morbidity and mortality or from a quality of life perspective focusing on how an individual patient functions in daily living. Efficiency in qualitative research compares the cost of an intervention to the benefits obtained by the individual or population being studied.

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