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Improving the quality of healthcare data through information design

Guillermina Noël, Janet Joy, Carmen Dyck

Abstract: Improving the quality of patient care, generally referred to as Quality Improvement (QI), is a constant mission of healthcare. Although QI initiatives take many forms, these typically involve collecting data to measure whether changes to procedures have been made as planned, and whether those changes have achieved the expected outcomes. In principle, such data are used to measure the success of a QI initiative and make further changes if needed. In practice, however, many QI data reports provide only limited insight into changes that could improve patient care. Redesigning standard approaches to QI data can help close the gap between current norms and the potential of QI data to improve patient care. This paper describes our study of QI data needs among healthcare providers and managers at Vancouver Coastal Health, a regional health system in Canada. We present an overview of challenges faced by healthcare providers around QI data collection and visualization, and illustrate the advantages and disadvantages of different visualizations. At present, user– centred and evidence–based design is practically unknown in healthcare QI, and thus offers an important new contribution.
Keywords: healthcare data / QI data / quality / QI initiatives / healthcare providers / improve patient / patient care

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