We have talked about making the vital visible: that is making explicit and celebrating the input and impact of health and care practitioners (HCPs) on the public’s health through preventing avoidable illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing and resilience.
Today we are delighted to be launching Everyday Interactions which will help provide healthcare professionals with simple, quick and effective guidelines for recording and measuring the impact of their activities on the public’s health.
The toolkit was developed in close collaboration with representative bodies and individuals working in the professional groups which it is aimed at, specifically nurses and midwives, allied health professionals, pharmacy and dental staff. It has 10 impact pathways (adult obesity; alcohol; child oral health; dementia; healthy beginnings; falls; mental wellbeing, physical activity, sexual and reproductive health and HIV; and smoking and tobacco).
So how does it work?
There are four elements to the impact models do, record, collate and impact.
- Do – focuses on the brief intervention a healthcare professional might undertake with their patient or client, such as signposting to relevant services;
- Record – this relates to what information the healthcare professional would record, such as categorising a referral and recording measurements, such as BMI;
- Collate – is about capturing the data over a period of time for multiple individuals;
- Impact – brings all of this together and captures the likely impact their service is having in a local area, as well as the national public health priorities that these interventions will impact upon;
Over the past few years I have been asked what Public Health England can do to support health care professionals (HCPs) to record and measure the impact of the interventions they undertake as part of their work.
We know that broader public health conversations as part of interventions are often not being routinely recorded.
As a result HCPs aren’t able to show their impact on population health beyond anecdotal feedback from individuals.
So we set about to try and help.
First, we asked HCPs which interventions they were currently doing but not recording and we asked public health leaders and CCG commissioners what evidence they wanted to see from HCPs about their public health contribution. The priorities were the same as those in All Our Health.
We also realised the need to be pragmatic; there was no point creating a fantastic tool that was too time-consuming to complete in practice. Practitioners said a tool needed to be quick to use; matched to the interventions they were already doing; flexible to apply to different professions, specialisms and contexts; and able to align to the different recording mechanism is already in use.
The logic model approach is our solution to this.
So do they work in practice?
We are very grateful to frontline colleagues who have tested the toolkit in their services. Feedback has been good and shows that frontline practitioners have been able to apply the toolkit in practice. Those who tested the impact pathways talked about them as a mechanism to help multidisciplinary team conversations about what more can be done as well as the intended consequence of improved recording.
This is clearly the start of the journey. We are working with professional bodies to disseminate the toolkit and encourage HCPs to start to use the pathways. RSPH have launched an e-learning tool to help.
We hope that strategic transformation planning boards and national organisations will find the resource useful in informing their informatics strategies
We anticipate that we can build on this as more robust modelling information becomes available - for example modelling the number of brief interventions required to achieve a smoking quit and the return on investment of this.
A lot of people have supported the development of this toolkit ranging from HCPs and commissioners who took the time to complete our survey and participate in a Twitter Chat, to the advisory group, PHE topic experts and our partners at RSPH, so thank you to you all.
We look forward to further conversations as HCPs use Everyday Interactions and we continue to develop a focus on improving the public's health and measuring the impact of doing so.
By Linda Hindle, Lead Allied Health Professional, Public Health England