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Getting To Outcomes (GTO) is a user-friendly, ten-step process for comprehensive planning, implementation guidance, and evaluation of programs and community initiatives. Research has shown that organizations that use GTO improve their programs and get better outcomes than organizations that do not use GTO.

This guide is designed to lead the user through the ten steps of GTO and provide supplemental information and resources to assist with the planning, implementation, evaluation, continuous quality improvement, and sustainability of a community emergency preparedness (CEP) program. GTO can help an organization assess the need for and the fit of a CEP program, identify a specific goal, and specify desired outcomes that relate to the goal. After that, GTO can help the organization choose an evidence-based public health approach and a plan for successful implementation. GTO will also help the organization plan and collect process and outcome evaluation data to improve and sustain the program.

CEP programs generally focus on increasing awareness about the importance of being prepared and educating community members about simple ways that they can make themselves and their neighbors better prepared for disaster. For example, having a seven-day supply of food, water, and medication and a written household evacuation plan — simple ways to improve household preparedness — can help prepare the population to cope with service disruption, thereby lessening the burden on systems and hospitals.

Each chapter in the guide contains blank tools to assist with that chapter's GTO step, completed examples of each tool, and detailed instructions.

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Health.

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