In 2016, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The George Washington University Health Workforce Institute (GWHWI) launched the Social Mission Metrics Study.
The goal of the study was to create a system of metrics that could be used as a standardized approach to identify the level of engagement of U.S. dental, nursing, and medical schools in social mission activities, track them over time, and allow a school to compare its performance to similar schools and national norms. The first year involved the development and initial piloting of a questionnaire to measure social mission. The content of the questionnaire was based on literature review, key informant interviews, and the guidance of a National Advisory Committee. In 2017, the study was jointly funded by RWJF and the Health Resources and Service Administration’s Bureau of Health Workforce. In this phase, the survey was field tested with sixty schools across the three disciplines: medicine, nursing, and dentistry. In the fall of 2017, site visits were conducted to four participant schools—two medical schools, one dental school, and one nursing school— interviewing academic leaders, faculty, students, and staff. Site visits provided insight into how schools engaged with the survey and assessed for additional social mission activities that should be included in the survey instrument.
Now in its third year, the Social Mission Metrics Initiative will continue this work to encourage health professions schools to gauge their social mission engagement through the process of self-assessment.