Funding for public health projects always seems to be on the chopping block at budget meetings, so it is up to health departments and agencies to prove that their work is paying off. Identifying and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can help your organization maintain or even increase its funding.
When the IDEA Exchange was first established, it was under a five-year trial period where the program had to prove that needle exchanges worked. Specifically, it had to show evidence of the prevention of bloodborne diseases and the reduction of deaths related to sharing needles. Based on the level of achievement of the trial run, lawmakers implemented the Infectious Disease Elimination Act of 2019, which allows individual counties to authorize needle exchange programs. This act also established specific KPIs to be reported yearly to the state in order to evaluate the effectiveness of programs. Examples of these KPIs include the number of needles exchanged, the number of participants receiving counseling, and the number of participants being tested. Programs that focus specifically on achieving high rates in all three KPIs are able to increase their funding and reach.
Establishing effective KPIs can help your department develop more effective programming. It also helps to justify the expense of programs that may not be “paying off.” Since most public health/services spending does not have a direct return on investment, it is necessary to use this kind of measurable KPIs to show that these programs are creating value for the community over time.