Performance Improvement

Welcome to Performance Improvement.  You have surveyed your clients on the risks to healthy aging.  You’ve analyzed your data and selected a health issue on which to focus.  Now what?  

It is time for an action plan!

The Performance Improvement section of Health Indicators is designed to help senior serving organizations use the results from their survey to plan and implement services (interventions) that can demonstrably make a difference in the health of their clients (impact).  

To help you choose an intervention to implement, review the Standards of Practice for management of diabetes, heart disease, and falls risk, three common health conditions in older adults.

Performance improvement, simply put, requires change.  To demonstrate that what you are doing to improve the health of clients, you will need to do some things differently (targeting, engagement, tracking, and measurement) to get your clients to change what they are doing to improve their health and well-being (health seeking behaviors). 

About This Section

This section contains two health risk intervention modules (Diabetes Control, and Clinical Prevention and Medicare Screenings) to help get you started.  Each module includes a brief description of the health issue, a range of interventions for service providers of varying capacities, brief descriptions of the interventions, the activities involved, the resources needed, sample tracking forms, and suggested measures to evaluate the success of the intervention.  

These health risk intervention modules reflect best practices and clinical guidelines that community agencies and seniors can do to reduce the risks to healthy aging.  Some interventions build on activities you are already doing and can be completed with modest staff and little or no additional resources.  Several interventions draw on the seniors themselves as peer supporters to help with blood pressure control.  Other interventions, such as Stanford’s Diabetes Self-Management Program, Tomando (DMSP in Spanish), A Matter of Balance, and others, are Tier III Evidence-based interventions and require significant staff time and or resources. Local health care providers or other external players may have some of the resources and expertise you need. There is a wide range of interventions from which to choose, some of which may be opportunities for partnership with a health care provider.

Diabetes Control and Clinical Prevention and Medicare Screenings are two examples of the many different health interventions and resources that exist.  They are by no means the only things you can do.  

Visit the U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force’s Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide) or NCOA’s Center for Healthy Aging to learn more about the range of interventions available.


Making a Difference

Shifting from an activity for all, to a focused impact-oriented intervention for a specific set of clients, will mean doing some things differently. With a health risk issue selected, it is time to choose an intervention, decide what you are trying to accomplish and how you will know if you have succeeded.

Use the Intervention Planning Worksheet to help you develop an action plan.   Make sure you have:

Use the Intervention Planning Worksheet to develop a clear picture of your tracking strategy and the data to be collected (such as engagement calls to clients on your registry, weekly attendance at exercise class, blood pressure readings, etc), who will collect it, how frequently it will be done, and what will be used to keep track of the data. 

Checking the things you are tracking as the intervention is happening helps you see if there are some things that need to be adjusted.  Are clients consistently participating?  Are the tracking forms being completed clearly and accurately?)  Spotting a problem and addressing it early in your intervention could make the difference in your having the information you will need to see the impact of your intervention.  Make tracking part of your intervention at the outset.

Getting to Impact provides more informatino about process, progress, and impact measurement.