The Program Being Evaluated
Over the past five years, e-health, the use of information technology in the health field, has been increasingly recognized as an essential tool for improving quality and reducing costs among health care organizations and employers. As a greater number of consumers, patients and providers use e-health applications, there is also a greater need for more rigorous evaluation of the quality of e-health programs. In response to this need, RWJF launched Health e-Technologies Initiative: Building the Science of e-Health (HETI). The goals of HETI were to expand the body of knowledge about the efficacy, costs, cost effectiveness and overall quality of e-health applications currently in use for health behavior change and chronic disease management, and to expand the body of knowledge about how to evaluate, compare and improve them.
About the Evaluation
Led by Seth Emont, Ph.D., M.S., of White Mountain Research Associates LLC, the goals of the assessment were to:
Phase I of the assessment addressed HETI’s unique niche and brand value in the field, potential field-building activities, the most promising strategies to assure that the initiative’s products will have maximal impact on the field, and networking activities.
Phase II focused on a small group of stakeholders to explore the “value added” of e-health tools in engaging consumers and improving the quality of health care delivery.
Summary of Methods
The methods included interviews and sector-specific surveys of opinion leaders in the field of e-health, including people from academic settings, commercial settings, government agencies, and philanthropy, and of key stakeholders in e-health, including health care providers and health plan administrators and consumers.
Knowledge and Impact
Major findings generated from the interviews and surveys with opinion leaders and stakeholders in e-health include the following: