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INTRODUCTION

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With the ROI results in hand, what's next? Should the results be used to modify the healthcare improvement project, change the internal processes, explain the contribution, justify new projects, gain additional support, or build goodwill? How should the data be presented? The worst course of action is to do nothing, except, of course, providing the data to the project sponsor. Achieving results without communicating them to other stakeholders is like planting seeds and failing to fertilize and cultivate the seedlings—the yield will be less than optimal. This chapter provides useful information for presenting evaluation data to various audiences in the form of both oral and written reports.

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OPENING STORIES

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CLEVELAND CLINIC

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Of all factors that lead to premature deaths, smoking is the deadliest. Tobacco is addictive, damaging, and deadly, causing 450,000 deaths each year, or 1 in every 5, often from early heart attacks, chronic lung diseases, and cancers. For a healthcare institution whose inherent mission is healing the sick and promoting health, it would not make sense to support a habit that leads to disease, disability, and death. Cleveland Clinic took this point one step further by adopting a smoke-free campus in 2005 and, in 2007, deciding to no longer hire smokers. Job candidates are told they will be subject to urine tests to check for nicotine. If a candidate tests positive for nicotine, the job offer is rescinded and he or she is offered a free tobacco cessation program and may reapply in 90 days.

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If that policy sounds unreasonable, consider the toxic nature of cigarette smoke, which contains hundreds of chemicals and compounds, at least 69 of which cause cancer. Smoking puts these chemicals directly into the body, which leads to lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diminished immune system, and other deadly issues. By ignoring these issues, Cleveland Clinic's commitment to health and wellness would be undermined and the healthy environment for employees, patients, and visitors would be compromised.

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This program has a tremendous payoff for Cleveland Clinic in terms of medical costs for employees, reduction in sick days, short- and long-term disability, even a reduction in incidents and increased productivity. Cleveland Clinic began amassing the statistics for the program, both from the perspective of cost savings and the negative impact it would have on recruiting job applicants. Since this program was instituted, less than 2 percent of job offers (about 300 out of 20,000) have been rescinded due to positive nicotine tests.

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The reporting of results of this program was critical. A variety of communication methods were in place, reporting not only the rationale for the program, but also the results anticipated in the beginning and the results achieved during the program. Because this issue is politically sensitive, communications were chosen carefully. The new employee policy was published online and messages to the employees and the ...

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