Better Skills, Best Care Service-Wide Projects Evaluation

Project Type - Program evaluation and review, Workforce planning


Health Outcomes International (HOI) was appointed by the Department of Health (formerly the Department of Human Services, the department) in June 2006 to support hospitals participating in the Better Skills, Best Care Service-wide projects to undertake their internal process and impact evaluation. 

The aims of the evaluation were to determine if any of the changed roles piloted have been effective and whether they were suitable for broader implementation across the Victorian public hospital sector.

More specifically, the objectives of evaluating the service-wide health workforce design projects were to: 

  • assess their suitability for, and transferability to, the Victorian public health sector
  • assess the impact of projects and groups of projects on staff, patients, and services
  • identify barriers to change, such as industrial, professional, regulatory, organisational, education and training, and actions to overcome these
  • identify key findings about the way in which the local context influences the effectiveness of projects
  • understand the start-up and recurrent costs of new health service workforce configurations compared with previous models

The key methodological components for the scoping study included:

  • an Evaluation scoping workshop to refine the DHS Evaluation Framework to ensure both the global and specific goals of the evaluation can be met through the proposed data collection methods
  • an Evaluation training workshop to provide training to the pilot sites in program logic theory, evaluation methods and data collection
  • development of an evaluation database 
  • development of a series of performance indicators for health services, which monitor the medium and long-term impact of changed roles on patient, staff and health services. 

HOI produced a comprehensive and evidence based final report which analysed the performance of the Better Skills, Best Care Service-wide Projects across the three Streams, summarised trends, identified themes within and across the streams, and present an assessment of the potential of the Projects for wider implementation.