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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kimberly A. Galt, PharmD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This book provides a practical description of contemporary methods useful for health services program evaluation and decision making. The theme of each of its seven sections is the presentation of integrated basic research design and measurement methods, along with program evaluation principles and strategies. A logical progression of research method approaches is presented. The authors, who are experienced, well respected professionals, are consultants in program evaluation and instructors for post-graduate health services managers.
Purpose: The intent is to give health professions managers a better understanding of the problems frequently encountered when providing health services, as well as the tools to evaluate and work with these problems. This is a highly relevant objective in the development and advancement of contemporary health services management.
Audience: Both health professions managers and health services scientists will find this publication beneficial. It blends the key elements of both disciplines, and provides an appealing balance between scientific rigor and practical management decision making.
Features: The specific research techniques described in the book include the use of monitoring, case studies, descriptive and analytic surveys, trend analyses, and various experimental designs. Many case examples are provided to illustrate how the scientific method is applied in program evaluation. The examples are representative of common questions and are efficient and pragmatic. Clear illustrations of cause-effect diagrams, flow charts, and decision analysis models are provided. Relevant formulas for calculations are included. A well selected glossary of terms is helpful to anyone studying this area. The book is written for high-quality instruction at the post-graduate level. The writing style is also suited to life long learners in self-study.
Assessment: This is a successful publication that provides the practical interface of research principles with program evaluation strategies to assist both the health services researcher and the health professions manager.