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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

New: MCHbest strategies database for sample ESMs

Evidence Tools
MCHbest. NPM 15: Continuous and Adequate Insurance

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Strategy. Outreach Using a Data Collection System

Approach. Develop a data collection system that can monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and success of enrollment and retention efforts.

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Overview. Data collection systems can be used to collect, track, and monitor data on potential enrollees to ensure the efficiency and success of enrollment and retention efforts. Such data systems can be used to identify outcomes and to provide feedback that allows outreach partners to follow-up with families. In one study, school and community outreach partners entered uniform data based on a checkbox survey that forced vital data points to be completed. These data were then transmitted to the state to help expedite the enrollment of eligible children in public insurance.1

Evidence. Emerging. Initial research showed positive results for this strategy, but further research is needed to confirm effects. This strategy has been tested more than once and results trend positive overall. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).

Target Audience. State/Community.

Outcome.  Increase the enrollment and retention of children eligible for public health insurance programs; quicken the turnaround time for application determination and enrollment; and increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness of outreach programs. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the “Intervention Results” for each study.

Examples from the Field. Access descriptions of ESMs that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.

Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Develop a data collection system that can monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and success of statewide enrollment and retention efforts,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):

Quadrant 1:
Measuring Quantity of Effort
("What/how much did we do?")

  • Number of community-based organizations that participate in a centralized data collection system.
  • Number of individuals trained to enter uniform data into a centralized data collection system.

Quadrant 2:
Measuring Quality of Effort
("How well did we do it?")

  • Percent of eligible children identified by the data collection systems.

Quadrant 3:
Measuring Quantity of Effect
("Is anyone better off?")

  • Number of families with eligible children contacted in follow-up by outreach partners.
  • Number of community-based organizations that report favorable outcomes (e.g., time savings, application efficiency, etc.) as a result of their participation in the data system.

Quadrant 4:
Measuring Quality of Effect
("How are they better off?")

  • Percent of children enrolled in public health insurance as a result of the data collection system.

Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4):

Learn More. Read how to create stronger ESMs and how to measure ESM impact more meaningfully through Results-Based Accountability.


1 Ray JA, Detman LA, Chavez M, Gilbertson M, Berumen J. Improving data, enhancing enrollment: Florida Covering Kids & Families CHIPRA data system. Maternal and Child Health Journal. 2015 Apr 1;20(4):749-53.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.