Top Tips for Demonstrating Impact by Clare Payne

Choose outcomes that matter to your Trust – if reducing Slips, Trips and Falls or Financial Efficiencies are of particular importance, ask if your search contributed to these. Trust Annual reports, business plans and quality strategies are a great source of Trust priorities.

Make sure you use language that is meaningful to your stakeholders e.g. did the information help them to:

  • Comply with CPD requirements of Regulatory or Professional bodies (e.g. HPC, NMC, Medical appraisal or revalidation)?
  • Did it contribute to Safeguarding, Safer Care Environments, Commissioning of Services?

Use an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey – they’re straight forward to use, look professional and include functions like graphs that help to present your results effectively.

Follow best practice in designing your survey as this will help to increase response rates and improve how representational your sample is.  For example:

  • keep it short – less than 5 minutes (preferably less) to fill in
  • tell people how long it will take
  • try and explain why the information will be valuable in the covering email and how it is relevant to them
  • let people know in advance that you’ll be sending them a survey (perhaps when you return the results of a search to them)
  • personalise the email
  • send a reminder (we find it doubles our response rate)
  • assure anonymity by not asking for their names in their response

Consider including a ‘not applicable’ option for each group of outcomes.  This way you can tell the difference between whether your service failed to make a particular impact in the area it was needed or whether that outcome just wasn’t relevant.

Make your Trust’s strategic objectives into outcomes and ask if the search contributed to them.  It’s great to be able to say that 45 searches last year contributed to the objective: ‘To continuously improve the quality and productivity of our services’.

Use the data you collect. Once you’ve collected data showing what a great impact you’re making publicise it in any way you can, targeting different groups and possibly tailoring the information you provide to the areas that are most important to them.

Don’t start from scratch if you don’t need to – adapt a survey someone else has created to reflect the objectives of your own Trust.

Clare Payne
Outreach Librarian
Rathbone Library, Mersey Care Knowledge and Library Service
Mersey Care NHS Trust

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