Evaluation of IHC
Consumers & IHC
Policy Issues Relevant
Providers, Purchasers & IHC
Wired for Health and Well-Being: The
Emergence of Interactive Health Communication
Editors: Thomas R. Eng, David H. Gustafson
Suggested Citation: Science Panel on Interactive
Communication and Health. Wired for Health and Well-Being: the Emergence of Interactive
Health Communication. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human
Services, US Government Printing Office, April 1999.
Download in PDF format: [Entire Document] [References]
Purchasers evaluation Checklist for IHC Applications
This checklist is intended to help potential purchasers
of IHC applications, especially health plans and other health care organizations and large
employers, in their decisionmaking process, and to focus on relevant evaluation results
reported by developers using the Panels "Evaluation Reporting Template" in
Appendix A. Careful evaluation and a systematic approach to
decisionmaking will help you and your organization weigh the pros and cons of a new
system, delineate what you expect from the system, and select a product (or decide not to
purchase one) that is most compatible with the needs and resources of your organization.
Major questions to consider:
1. Why was the application developed?*
- What clinical or business problem(s) does the application
propose to solve (e.g., reduce cost, improve quality, and enhance prevention,
satisfaction, and efficiency)?
2. What does the program propose to do?*
- What types of outcomes are expected?
- What are the findings from related literature? How did they
guide the developer?
- Can the program be tailored to individual patients?
- How does it link with care delivery (e.g., case management,
- What setting is most appropriate for the program (e.g.,
clinic, home, school, community)?
3. What are the technical requirements of the
- How are the data collected and stored?
- What training do providers need to use the application?
- What personnel infrastructure is needed to implement the
- What technical infrastructure is needed?
- How often does the content need to be updated? Who will take
responsibility for it?
4. Does the program work as described? **,
- What are the limitations of the application given overall
content, design, usability, cultural appropriateness, language, and related factors?
- Why is this technology best suited for the product goals?
- How has feasibility testing been done?
- How were the intended outcomes evaluated? What were the
- What is the user experience?
In addition, potential purchasers should consider the
following questions that are specific to their organization:
5. What are the likely benefits for the specific
organization (why should senior management buy-in)?
- Why does the organization need it?
- Where does the application fit in the organization?
- What is the significance of the clinical area and target
population for this organization?
- What is the complexity of the clinical problem(s) addressed
by the product?
- What is the likely impact on utilization and quality?
- What is the total cost to the organization? What is the
overall cost benefit? What is the cost-benefit model for using the system?
- How does the purchaser perceive overall effectiveness?
- What budget would be used (e.g., medical versus marketing)?
- How will the product help with marketing and overall
- What are competing organizations doing in this area?
* See "Section I. Description of Application" of the Template (Appendix A)
** See "Section II. Formative and Process Evaluation" of the Template (Appendix A)
*** See "Section III. Outcome Evaluation" of the Template (Appendix A)
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