November 13, 2020

Stuck thinking about how to report your impact? New metrics for health delivery organizations can help

Do you feel pressure to back up your organization’s story with performance data? Are you struggling to find metrics that help you communicate your results to investors and funders? Where does an organization begin and what are the most useful metrics to track? We’ve got some good news for you. A newly released resource is designed to help with just this.

There are a growing number of small private enterprises working in low- and middle-income countries offering innovative market-based approaches to healthcare delivery. A select group of these organizations are part of the IPIHD network. Many others are profiled in the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) database.

These organizations are working to expand their programs by raising funds, partnering with governments, and collaborating with large private-sector players in an increasingly competitive environment. Under these challenging conditions, the imperative to demonstrate the impact of their work has never been greater.

Recognizing the inefficiency and the undue burden associated with requiring organizations to design proprietary results frameworks, CHMI partnered with the IRIS initiative of the GIINto help organizations credibly communicate their impact. The result is a freely available catalog of standardized metrics that can be used by healthcare enterprises, like those in the IPIHD network, to source trusted and well-defined performance measures to better understand their results and make their case to funders.

Last year I had the privilege of being a part of the working group that developed these metrics. The group included healthcare entrepreneurs (like IPIHD innovator World Health Partners), investors, and other stakeholders who came together to condense reams of guidelines and best practices into a manageable menu of concrete and useful metrics.  These metrics were then piloted by dozens of organizations, including a few innovators from the IPIHD network, to ensure they were clearly defined and feasible to report.

The resulting catalog includes metrics that can be used to describe aspects of the population an organization serves, and the nature and quality of the services it’s delivering.  The metrics are mostly process or operational measures (i.e. “output” measures) that have been shown to be associated with good health outcomes. Examples of IRIS metrics include: completion rate of a given health treatmentthe number of clients provided access to services they were unable to access prior, and the retention rate of clients.

The full metrics set can be found here along with an accompanying white paper. If you’re just beginning to think about which impact metrics might help you tell your story or if you’re looking to tell it better, this is an invaluable resource to explore.  For additional information and to join the growing number of organizations using IRIS, register for free here.