Failing to plan is planning to fail. These words are true in every aspect of our lives, including healthcare promotion. With a good healthcare plan, individuals and communities will thrive. Healthcare promotion is an important intervention enabling individuals and community members to adopt individuals, families, populations, and communities to adopt or adapt to a lifestyle that promotes good health. It's instrumental in helping them make the right choices about their health.
Health promotion allows people to identify critical factors that help them take charge of their lives. Thus, developing an evidence-informed program is essential, which can only be achieved through proper planning.
In this article, we will discuss all the steps for planning health promotion programs.
The healthcare planning process involves various elements you must learn to manage. These elements, which include meaningful participation of key stakeholders, time, money, and other resources, data-gathering and interpretation, and decision-making, are essential in developing a good plan.
In addition, preplanning and project management are essential for the following reasons:
Use the following questions to understand how to preplan and manage projects.
Therefore, good decisions take time, creativity, a supportive climate, and a good plan.
To develop an effective healthcare promotion plan, you must first understand the population the program will serve. This means you first gather crucial data about the health status, risks, needs, strengths, and barriers facing them. Gather this information through the appropriate data collection methods such as questionnaires, surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, etc. You will also be able to understand the following:
Ensure you include community members in this process since they are better positioned to provide crucial information and insights about their health that could help with the right healthcare promotion program.
Please note that there are four kinds of needs:
Next, you need to assess these needs by asking the following questions:
When you answer these questions, decide what should be the priority by setting goals and objectives. Ask yourself, "What do I want to achieve with the healthcare promotion plan." Ask this question as often as you want until you have a clear answer.
Setting goals and objectives is essential in designing an effective plan. Apply situational analysis, which consists of the following:
Ensure the objectives you set are specific and realistic. Strike a balance between realistic and challenging goals.
There are several types of objectives that are associated with health promotion planning:
Ensure these objectives are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
At this point, decide on the strategies and activities feasible with the available resources that will contribute to achieving the set goals.
Use brainstorming techniques to understand "how you will get there." For instance, you could ask some of your team members to develop strategies for health improvements to accomplish the set goals. These include health education, health communication, organizational change, and policy development.
Furthermore, have situation analysis reports that tell you which ideas to prioritize from your team members. Identify activities for each strategy, then decide which one should start, continue, or stop.
Ensure you also decide on the most appropriate and effective methods for your aims and objectives and those acceptable to the target audience.
For any program to succeed, it must have adequate resources. So, identify the resources you will use throughout the planning and execution of the program. Ensure you clarify the following:
Some resources include your skills, knowledge, and experiences; other people with something substantial to offer; clients, people who influence them; materials, facilities, etc. Whatever kind of resources, ensure you identify and note them down.
Use the following tips to help identify strategies, activities, and resources:
Identify variables that you can track to know whether the program is successful. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that you set SMART goals. Please understand that some goals may need to be subdivided into individual tasks to make them attainable. As such, the evaluation methods that will be used to check the progress of the programs must be reliable, valid, and easily accessible. Ensure you define each indicator to measure individual outcomes and perfume quality checks to ascertain their relevance and usefulness.
Evaluation refers to making a judgment about how valuable a health promotion is. In other words, it assesses what has been achieved (outcome) and how it has (process).
For each outcome and process objective, consider the desired result and whether:
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Review and assess the health promotion plan to clarify the goals, identify gaps, and make necessary adjustments. Some other reasons why you should evaluate the healthcare promotion planning process include:
Achievement of objectives could be in the form of behavior changes, health awareness changes, policy changes, health status changes, etc.
While doing this, you must also assess the process, which means looking at what went wrong when implementing the plan and making the right judgments about it. The best way to measure the process is through:
To conduct a comprehensive overview of the health promotion plan, follow these steps:
Collect and analyze data- Gather the right data for the implemented outcomes, impact, and processes. Then, quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to assess their effectiveness.
Next, engage stakeholders involved in the planning process. Use surveys and focus groups to learn more about their perspectives and insights.
Use the data collected to compare the outcomes and the initial objectives. Check whether the plan has successfully addressed the health issues in the community.
Then, identify areas of improvement based on the results and insights from stakeholders.
Among the key stages of healthcare promotion planning is creating an action plan. As the final step of planning, this phase comes after you have identified:
With this information, you can identify who will do what, when, how, and with what resources and then take action. This is where you put the plan into action.
For a community health program, it's essential to ensure that community members' participation is actively embedded within the program. Community participation involves community members in all program phases, from planning and decision-making to execution.
This step aims to assess the implemented program to gauge how it works by evaluating its effectiveness, efficiency, fairness, and acceptance. To evaluate the effectiveness of a health promotion program, you can use either the appreciative inquiry or the logic model approach, which are the most used program evaluation models in healthcare.
With the right plans in place, you can develop effective healthcare promotion programs that can solve health issues in your community. The following are examples of community health promotion programs that have helped reduce health disparities.
In an era where our communities are dominated by fast food outlets and junk food-filled convenience stores, developing measures to promote good nutrition is a smart idea. A group of local high school students in California developed a plan called South Los Angeles Corner-Store Conversions (South LA, HEAC) by convincing local markets to showcase their healthy produce and push back on junk food.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in every 100,000 live births in the USA, there are 52 infant deaths. So, to reduce these deaths, some communities have come up with programs that encourage parents to place babies on their backs to sleep and avoid exposure to overheating.
Inactivity and lack of exercise are the number one cause of lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer. Through community health promotion programs such as El Sol Healthy Eating and Active Living Promotional Program, more people are taking charge of their health by engaging in physical activities.
Unintentional injuries cause hundreds of deaths each year. Some of these occur in the workplace and others at home. Community injury prevention programs are one of the best ways to reduce these injuries. The target for these programs is people who work in high-risk areas such as factories.
More than 480,000 people die each year due to diseases associated with cigarette smoking in the USA. To prevent this, California launched the Tobacco Control Program. This helped in reducing cigarette and tobacco smoking by 13.8 percent.
Nurses and other healthcare personnel can incorporate health promotion in their practice through the following ways:
This approach focuses on reducing and preventing morbidity and mortality in the community, particularly where there are high-risk groups. The preventive approach aims to increase clinical interventions to reduce cases of preventable deaths and diseases.
The preventive approach has three levels of intervention:
This approach is highly effective since nurses work closely with the sick and those at risk of getting ill in hospital settings.
Nurses, through sensitization programs, help educate people about healthy lifestyles. The main assumption of this approach is that eating, sleeping, and exercising are critical in whether individuals stay healthy. Thus, nurses who engage in a behavioral approach ensure that people understand the risks of not caring for their health and bodies.
In this approach, nurse believes that when the sick are presented with the right information about their health, they can make informed decisions. Nurses provide facts and evidence about patient's health to ensure they have a deeper understanding of their health.
Nurses have been trained to offer different services to individuals in various settings. Some health promotion setting examples are schools, work sites, hospitals, villages, and cities. As such, they have socio-cultural background information such as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, which places them in a better position to help the community improve its health.
In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) took a major step in health promotion 1980s by publishing the Ottawa Charter. According to this charter, health promotion occurs at five key levels:
Health promotion planning is creating strategies and actions that will help improve the health status and the well-being of community members. Developing a good plan requires preplanning, situational assessment, clear goals, identifying the target population, identifying resources and indicators, reviewing the plans, and finally putting them in motion. These plans can help improve the health status of the community.
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