Objective: Development of a good practice guideline to plan and perform scientifically robust evaluation studies in health informatics.
Methods: Issues to be addressed in evaluation studies were identified and guidance drafted based on the evaluation literature and on experiences by key players. Successive drafts of the guideline were discussed in several rounds by an increasing number of experts during conferences and by e-mail. At a fairly early point the guideline was put up for comments on the web.
Results: Sixty issues were identified that are of potential relevance for planning, implementation and execution of an evaluation study in the health informatics domain. These issues cover all phases of an evaluation study: Preliminary outline, study design, operationalization of methods, project planning, execution and completion of the evaluation study. Issues of risk management and project control as well as reporting and publication of the evaluation results are also addressed.
Conclusion: A comprehensive list of issues is presented as a guideline for good evaluation practice in health informatics (GEP-HI). The strengths and weaknesses of the guideline are discussed. Application of this guideline will support better handling of an evaluation study, potentially leading to a higher quality of evaluation studies. This guideline is an important step towards building stronger evidence and thus to progress towards evidence-based health informatics.
2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.