Greenby faces a significant budget problem, and is starting to look at its Consultation and Education Department, which on the surface is not turning a profit. The first thing that the C&E Department needs to do is make sure that other departments are profitable, and that it is the problem. Otherwise, cutting C&E will not help Greenby, the exercise being moot.
The second issue at hand, the one in the case, is that the C&E Department has no evidence to support its claim that it acts as a feeder, or brand ambassador if you will, for the hospital. The claim is that the C&E projects, which are essentially community outreach, have provided exceptional visibility for the company. As such, they are bringing in new clients, in particular the third-party payers on whom the hospital presently relies to turn a profit. For its part, Greenby needs to find out how the valuable third-party payers and those who pay fees for service are finding their way to Greenby. Whatever is driving that demand, be it C&E or some other factor, is what Greenby need to focus its marketing energy on. So at this point, Greenby needs to determine of C&E is basically a marketing expense that is providing a positive ROI, as Cutler claims, or a deadweight expense, McDonald claims.
A process evaluation is one that measures how something is done, as opposed to the output of that action (SAMHSA, 2014). One process evaluation measure is to determine the reach that the C&E programs have in the community. Cutler claims they are popular, but there should be a number attached to this. If the number can be broken down demographically that would be ideal. The idea here is that the process is outreach, and Greenby needs to understand just how well it performs this outreach.
The output measure is conversion, the number of people in the community who are third-party payers, who are seeking out Greenby...
There are many ways for such payers to find out about Greenby, so it is important for all concerned to know whether they are the result of the outreach, or some other method of marketing.
The scope of the process measure should include all of the efforts that C&E does, so there should be statistics for each program that it has to find out what its total reach is. It is also worth comparing this with whatever other marketing the company does, because at some point there is going to be a cost-benefit analysis done on each marketing tactic. But for now, the process of outreach has to be evaluated on the basis of all programs, to determine if there are any programs that are especially effective, or if they all contribute.
The scope of the outcome evaluation is to analyze the third-party (and other high margin) payers. These will all be surveyed to basically find out "how did you hear about Greenby?" The objective is to try to isolate the marketing methods that are reaching this critical customer segment. To the extent that Greenby understands what reaches these people, it will be in a better position to make budget decisions.
So the end result of this exercise is to get a better sense of the market. The outcome measure covers all of the third-party payers. It only matters about reaching them, since other payers are sent to Greenby from their companies, insurance providers or government plan. The customers will tell Greenby if it was the outreach or not. The other side of this evaluation, the process evaluation side, focuses on finding out what sort of reach the C&E department does have. It might have a strong but redundant reach, a strong reach with the best payers, or it might have very little reach at all.
Issues & Challenges
There are a few issues that may arise from this program. The first is that we might not have the time…
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