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Table 2 Overview of key impacts

From: Relational aspects of building capacity in economic evaluation in an Australian Primary Health Network using an embedded researcher approach

Increased awareness of the benefits of economic evaluation Overall The biggest outcome would be just overall improved awareness and understanding of the need and benefit of better evaluation and utilising some of those tools across the organisation. PHN PARTICIPANT 13
Working differently and thinking about evaluation more …it’s helped people to start to look at what they’re doing a little bit differently, and look past just sort of tick box, ‘did you enjoy the program?’ kind of thing, to being able to assess it more fully…the main impact is that it’s highlighted better evaluation for our programs so people are thinking about it more… and even for the executive, in particular, they’re starting to look at a bit more about program impacts and economic value versus health value. For me and my team, it is just a greater awareness of how to go about doing that and making sure that we consider that when we’re developing up or scoping up new programs and projects so that’s part of what we do, and business as usual. PHN PARTICIPANT 5
Inclusion of evaluation from program inception For every project that I am given I will definitely consider evaluation from the get-go rather than halfway through, or even at the end. PHN PARTICIPANT 10
Developing staff capacity to access and apply economic evaluation Overall I was hoping for an increase in knowledge and capability around health economic assessment and evaluation in the organisation, from the initiative. And from what I’ve seen so far I’m encouraged that there’s been a positive benefit in that direction… PHN PARTICIPANT 4
By providing additional information, knowledge and tools [The eE] brought with him some different information and knowledge, and ways of evaluating from an economic point of view, but also from a general point of view, that they hadn’t really thought of, and so it gave them additional tools to then have conversations about well… if we use this model of care we can improve the care for ‘X’ amount of people and that’s a saving of so many dollars, or whatever.. PHN PARTICIPANT 5
Example: The Medical Practice Assistant Program (MPA) …we've been involved in the whole process … right from the beginning we worked jointly on the program logic for the overall MPA program…workshopped what the impacts would be …, from the point of view of a range of stakeholders, GPs and registered nurses and the MPA graduates and students themselves, and what the domains of those impacts might be. Then we were jointly involved in developing the survey tools … and the interview questions for the graduates. We've all been involved in the distribution of the instruments [and] workshopping the various issues we've had along the way, in terms of how we would address low response rates, how we would incentivise people to do the survey… we haven't gotten to the cost and benefit stuff yet… PHN PARTICIPANT 18
Emerging evidence of change Overall I’m seeing it at my manager’s meetings, which we hold monthly. I’m also hearing it in conversations with staff on the ground when … a general practice wants to do something slightly differently. The conversations are around ‘well, what’s that going to cost, is it really worth us doing that’? SITE LEAD
Increased use of logic models in program planning and evaluation We’re starting to use some logic models which – which is helping obviously. PHN Participant 5
Increased consideration of the need to evaluate commissioning contracts I put it into my contracts with my new providers, as part of a deliverable – and [the eE] gave me permission in a way to do this… they have to submit an impact evaluation report. [And that wasn’t in there before the eE Program]? No. There was no evaluation report whatsoever PHN PARTICIPANT 8
In meetings when I’ve got my managers in a monthly management meeting, those types of questions will come up. Or … I’ll see an email where they’re pitching something … Whereas normally their argument … could be about, ‘Well, this is how we’ve always done it,’ or, ‘This is government policy’. Or ‘health has funded us to do this.’ While all those things are still really important, they’re now adding in that other element. ‘Is it really the best way of doing it?’ ‘Could we do an evaluation?’ ‘Could we spend this $20,000 on an evaluation, rather than just rolling it over again this year?” That’s the sort of stuff that I’m getting, which is really great. That’s really great. SITE LEAD