Step 2: Goals and Objectives
Setting LTSS goals for your community helps you focus your planning effort and know what action steps to take.
Identify goals and objectives
Goals set your purpose and state which issues you want to address. They are broad. Objectives are measurable targets that help you meet a goal—it should be easy to tell if you’ve met an objective.
Begin by considering the following questions and then examining your answers to clearly define your goals and objectives.
- What goals do you want to achieve through your LTSS program?
- Example answer: "I want to provide reservation-based home health care services."
- Example analysis of answer: This answer works as a goal because it gives an overall direction for LTSS planning. Creating objectives will help define exactly what needs to be done.
- What are some objectives you need to accomplish to help you achieve the larger goals?
- Example answer: “I want to achieve 100% Medicaid enrollment among eligible community members by June 30.”
- Example analysis of answer: This response is a strong objective because it is specific, measurable, and has a timeframe.
Choose performance metrics
Performance metrics are measurable statistics used to identify change.
Choose your metrics early so you can take measurements before program implementation. You'll need to compare future measurements to your starting numbers to accurately measure change.
Think about how to measure the need you are addressing. Possible performance metrics could include:
- Medicaid enrollment rate among eligible community members
- Number of mental health screenings performed by health care providers
- Number of hospital re-admittances
Your performance metrics should align with your goals and objectives and measure progress toward them.
Common performance metrics
A federal report, Older Americans 2016: Key Indicators of Well-Being, defined the following six major themes related to elderly health. Below are possible metrics for each theme.
- Number of elders
- Racial and ethnic composition
- Marital status
- Education level
- Living arrangements
- Veteran status
- Income level
- Sources of income
- Employment status
- Housing status
- Life expectancy
- Chronic health conditions
- Sensory impairment
- Oral health
- Self-reported health status
- Depressive symptoms
- Functional limitations
Health risks and behaviors
- Receipt of recommended vaccinations
- Completion of recommendation cancer screenings
- Diet quality
- Physical activity level
- Tobacco use
- Air quality
- Elders’ rates of use of health care services
- Health care expenditures
- Prescription drugs
- Sources of health insurance
- Number of older Veterans enrolled in Veterans’ health care benefits
- Rates of use of residential services and incidence of unmet needs for those services
- Personal assistance and equipment
- Rates of use of end-of-life care
Once you identify LTSS goals, objectives, and performance metrics, it's time to examine and compare LTSS models to find one that meets your community's needs.