The development of a tool for estimating the Return on Investment (ROI) for improvement projects undertaken by public health agencies was presented at the third meeting of the National Public Health Improvement Initiative (NPHII) by Karl Ensign, ASTHO Director of Evaluation and Brynn Riley, Maine NPHII Performance Improvement Manager. ASTHO, funded through a cooperative agreement with OSTLTS, CDC, is one of five partners providing ROI and other capacity building assistance to NPHII grantees. To help guide the tool’s development, ASTHO convened a small workgroup consisting of CDC officials from OSTLTS, QI and ROI experts, state and local administrators (NPHII Performance Improvement Managers or PIMs), foundations and non-profit organizations. Dr. Glen Mays of the University of Kentucky, College of Public Health was retained as an expert consultant and took the lead on developing the tool.
Initial beta testing was conducted by the states of Connecticut, Maine, and Virginia. Recently, a series of three webinars was conducted, highlighting the beta projects undertaken by these sites. The powerpoint presentation "Calculating the Return on Investment" includes the results of these beta tests.
In order to continue to build ROI capabilities in public health agencies and develop knowledge in this area, ASTHO has formed a network of users that will identify candidate projects for ROI, approaches to data collection and analysis, apply and refine the tool. The tool and user network can be accessed by contacting Karl Ensign or by phone at 571-527-3143.