Getting Ready for the Health Indicators Risk Identification Survey Process
The Health Indicators survey process was designed to yield high-quality, valid data. As you begin planning, please keep in mind that it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to administer the survey and about five minutes for mistake-free entry of the information into the Health Indicators database. Access to a computer with an Internet connection is needed to log in to the database and get the training materials. The Getting Ready form (available in the left column) can help you with the decisions you need to make to successfully prepare for the survey process.
What Do You Want To Do With The Information?
To implement the Health Indicators process, it is important to think about how the information will be used. [more]Information can be used for one or all of the following tasks:
- Planning new activities or programming
- Identifying key client problems on which staff will focus
- Leveraging more resources
- Rallying the community around a specific issue
- Managing individual clients
- Developing linkages with health care providers in your community[end]
Which Clients Should You Survey?
How you want to use the information affects which population to survey. [more]
- For some purposes, it makes sense to survey the entire client population, regardless of service type.
- For others, you may choose to survey one or more subgroups, such as your case management clients, all those who participate in activities, or those who come only for a specific service (such as meals).[end]
How Many Clients Should You Survey? [more]
- Once you have identified which clients, decide how many of them you will survey - all clients? a percentage of your clients?
- For data to be meaningful, it is important to have a valid sample size. A minimum of 100 clients should be surveyed, no matter who you choose to survey, for this information to be useful.
- It is important to develop a realistic goal that best matches your staffing, resources, and selected time frame. Have realistic expectations. In the best of all worlds, you would survey everybody, but that is not always possible. Read more about selecting the population to be surveyed.[end]
What Will Be Your Timeframe?
Once you have identified the population you want to survey, set a time frame for the survey administration and data entry. [more] You may decide to do it:
- Over the course of a year; it may be possible to survey all your clients if you spread it out; or
- Over a specific time frame (such as a three-month period) – requires planning so there is sufficient time for staff to conduct the interviews.[end]
Who Manages The Health Indicators Process?
Identify a lead person, a Manager, to manage the Health Indicators process. [more] The Manager will serve as the champion for this effort. Responsibilities include:
- Making sure staff members understand why this is important and how it will help them, the clients, and the organization,
- Ensuring that staff members are trained properly,
- Maintaining an up-to-date list of staff interviewers,
- Assigning respondent ID numbers to ensure confidentiality,
- Reviewing surveys for mistakes or omissions,
- Ensuring that mistakes are corrected,
- Working with staff on retraining needs (based on error patterns),
- Getting the approved surveys to data entry,
- Reviewing reports and understanding the usefulness of the information,
- Sharing results with staff members and getting their feedback, and
- Communicating results to the community and others.
Choose a deputy to serve as a backup to the lead Manager. Having a deputy trained to assume the management tasks helps keep the process moving when the lead Manager is not available. Read more about the Manager's role.[end]
What Staff Is Needed?
There are two major components of the Health Indicators process: completing the survey and entering data on a computer. [more] In addition to the lead and deputy Managers, you will need:
- Staff to administer the surveys by conducting interviews,
- Someone dedicated to entering data into the database. Some programs use their casework staff to enter the data, some use administrative staff, and some use students or volunteers, while in other cases health or community partners assume the responsibility for data entry.[end]
How Will Staff Get Trained? [more]
- Training staff on the survey tool and how to administer it helps to: increase staff members’ comfort with using the survey tool;make sure that staff members understand the questions; and minimize mistakes.
- Think about how your staff will undergo the training. Maybe it is best to train all staff members at once because there is a computer that everyone can see, or maybe staff will need to be trained individually or in small groups using multiple terminals. Using the training materials provided, you should allow for 2-3 hours to train staff.[end]