Measurement and evaluation

Measurement and evaluation

Our vision at Kaiser Permanente is for our communities to be the healthiest in the nation. To understand if we are achieving our vision, we must continually measure and evaluate our impact.

How we measure

To help us measure our impact on community health, we ask two important questions:

How healthy are the communities that we serve?

We use data to understand and explore the challenges that communities face with regards to their health, and we compare the health of our communities to other communities across the nation.

How does Kaiser Permanente contribute to community health?

We look specifically at what we are doing as an organization to make measurable progress towards healthier communities and to hold ourselves accountable for improving lives.

Kaiser Permanente collects information using a variety of measurement tools, such as our Community Health Needs Assessments and program evaluation efforts, that let us gather information on the health of our communities and to assess how effectively we are using our organizational resources to improve health.

Our evaluation approach

We supplement our measurement efforts by regularly evaluating our programs and initiatives to help us better understand our impact. This information is shared with our community partners and other stakeholders and used to continually improve the effectiveness of our efforts. We also contribute to public health by building an understanding of what approaches work and then sharing that information with others.

Our 5-point evaluation philosophy places value on impact, program improvement, organizational learning, and community participation in the evaluation process:

  • Measure the impact of our investments.
  • Use data to improve, not just to prove.
  • Engage community partners as participants and stakeholders.
  • Develop new methods and share with the field.
  • Leverage Kaiser Permanente’s unique data-related assets.

“Population Dose”

Our programmatic evaluation efforts have taught us that strategies for improving health can be designed and implemented in ways that maximize the likelihood of seeing health improvements at the population level. We call this approach “Dose,” and it has become fundamental to the work of Community Health at Kaiser Permanente.

When we hear the term “dose,” we usually think of medicine. A higher dose of medicine is thought to have a higher impact on a person’s health. When we speak of “Population Dose,” we are referring to interventions aimed at improving the health of an entire community, and we look at how those interventions can be designed to maximize their reach and strength.

You can learn more about Dose and its application to strengthening the health of communities by exploring the tools and resources below:

The following article provides a good overview of the Dose methodology and how it has been used to inform Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives: