• 22 Nov

    Measuring and Evaluating the Impact of Health Information

    Posted by
    Sarah Greening

    On Monday 19 November 2018, participants were welcomed to our last event of 2018.

    Anne Ballard, Non-Executive Director of PIF and Sophie Randall, Project and Partnership Manager at PIF, were our chairs for the day at the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

    Anne welcomed our first speaker of the day: Amy Evans, Information and Support Content Manager, Marie Curie.


    Amy talked to us about the need to measure the impact of online health information between publication and review. User review panels are not always as diverse as our audience and online evaluation presents an opportunity for feedback to measure impact.

    Amy Evans-presentation1

    Amy explained that a common theme from the free text comments on the bereavement pages was a need for information on long-term grief.  This is being fed into the formal review of the content.

    “The PIF Toolkit is so thorough and PIF discussion groups have really useful information with people sharing experience,” said Amy.

    Our next speaker was Steve Pashley, Managing Director, Health2Works Ltd (H2W).


    Steve demonstrated Recap Health, a new digital patient information distribution and impact measurement application developed in partnership with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

    Recap Health 1

    Doctors like e-prescribing information for patients – it is better than going to a cupboard or shared hard drive and offers the opportunity to measure impact on information as a therapy.

    Steve explained how Recap Health works for patients and clinicians, and how usage and impact are measured.

    After the refreshment break and Speed Networking session, we welcomed Clare Edwards, Deputy Head of Library and Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning and Dominic Gilroy, Library and Knowledge Service Development Manager, Health Education England (HEE) to the podium.


    Clare and Dominic demonstrated the Knowledge for Healthcare Value and Impact Toolkit which was developed to provide resources for NHS funded Library & Knowledge Services wishing to demonstrate impact.

    Clare Edwards-Dominic Gilroy presentation1

    The Value and Impact toolkit provides a range of resources and is available on the HEE website.

    Health library services need to include local impact of activity in annual reports and share these with decision makers. Dominic Gilroy explained how libraries can be a target for cuts unless they show impact.

    Feedback is not impact, they reminded us. ‘Impact is the difference or change in an individual or group as the result of contact with a service or intervention.’ Clare and Dominic demonstrated ways in which resulting impact data has been used at both local and national level and promoted via social media.

    The last speaker of the morning was Dr Anne T Bruinvels, Founder of Px HealthCare Ltd.


    Anne talked about measuring impact on survival rates of people using the Owise – a personalised breast cancer app.


    The app has a tailor-made list of questions to help people with consultations and an audio recording tool to allow people to record them. Patient reported outcomes are caught via 30 sliders on the specifics of response to treatment, side effects and toxicity. Smart alerts prompt patients to contact HCPs or visit A&E if side effects and toxicity cross into the danger zone. Where the app is linked to the electronic patient record, an at-a-glance heat map of responses is created for HCPs.

    Evaluation of Owise has found that people using it are less frequently hospitalised and stay on chemotherapy for longer which has an impact on both survival and quality of life. The app has been approved for use in the NHS Apps Library and an randomised controlled trial of its impact is about to start at the Royal Marsden.

    After lunch, the delegates were energised by the Expresso Café session led by Tracey Pratchett – Knowledge & Library Services Manager, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Victoria Treadway – Knowledge Management Facilitator, NHS RightCare.


    This was an interactive session in which participants shared experience and brain stormed the why, how, what and who of demonstrating impact. Delegates were free to join any three of the five groups and rotate between them.

    practical session

    Tracey and Victoria facilitated discussions and delegates shared ideas and experience to measure the impact of their work from inception to completion.

    The next presentation was from Nancy Hey, Director, What Works Centre for Wellbeing.


    Nancy gave us an introduction to the latest evidence and practice in defining and measuring wellbeing. Half a million people report the lowest wellbeing across all measures and are most likely to be in poor or very bad health. Health is a key domain within the ONS wellbeing framework and it is important to measure the impact of patient information and support on wellbeing.

    Information and advice is a popular, potentially low cost, option that appears to help. How can we do it better?


    Nancy explained the How to measure your impact on wellbeing’ is an Online toolkit developed for the voluntary sector.

    We welcomed the last speakers of the day: Jonathan Kay, Patient Information Writer and Researcher and Claire Oliver, Marketing Manager, Anthony Nolan talking about evaluating the impact of the ‘My Transplant Tracker’ app.

    Jonathon Kay Claire Oliver

    The My Transplant Tracker app has been developed by Anthony Nolan to allow stem cell transplant patients to self-manage all aspects of their recovery. This includes tracking appointments and medication, recording their blood cell count data and setting weekly goals for their exercise, sleep, diet and other topics.

    My Transplant Tracker1

    The ‘My Transplant Tracker’ app was launched in May 2018 and has had 729 downloads. Around 4,000 people a year have a stem cell transplant and Anthony Nolan is now using a variety of marketing and evaluation techniques to make sure it reaches as many patients as possible and that it meets their recovery needs. Organic social media, paid digital marketing and clear sign posting from the Trust’s home page to a succinct landing page have all promoted uptake. Paper flyers have had limited impact but are now available for nurse specialists to order via the online shop alongside other patient support items. The next steps are to develop advocacy among people using the app.

    We would like to thank Anne and Sophie for chairing, all the speakers for sharing their expertise and participants for engaging with the event so thoroughly!

    You can view the presentations here and follow the tweets from the event here: #healthinfoimpact


    Posted on Thursday, 22nd November 2018