Group leader: Dr. Welmoed van Deen

Project summary:

Improving the quality and value of healthcare delivery is of major interest to healthcare organizations. While efforts to collect data about quality and costs have improved over time, many questions still remain around how to use these data to improve healthcare delivery. Audit and feedback, the process of showing providers their own performance (e.g. using a performance dashboard) is a strategy that has been successfully used in healthcare settings. The success of audit and feedback, however, is highly dependent on the implementation setting, and the underlying mechanisms for success remain largely unknown. A lack of involvement of theory in the design and evaluation of these strategies, which often requires the involvement of researchers from diverse fields, has led progress in this field to be slow.

On the other hand, substantial research to understand these underlying mechanisms exists across various non-medical fields including many sub-fields of psychology and human cognitive design. These fields provide various frameworks to understand how implementation of a performance dashboard could result in improvement. These theories offer insights into the design and evaluation of dashboards from both the human motivational as well as technological perspectives.

Based on the abovementioned theories, the involvement of end-users is of critical importance for successful design and implementation of a feedback system. Involvement of end-users mitigates the risk of creating an ineffective system that does not adequately meet users’ needs and also maintains motivation for improvement. In the healthcare setting, physicians and other healthcare professionals are the targeted end users. However, productive engagement of physicians, who are often deeply occupied with their clinical duties, is a key-challenge in quality improvement settings.

We are interested in building a multi-disciplinary team aiming to engage a diverse group of academics and clinicians to further the field of audit & feedback interventions at the unique intersection of medicine, science, technology, and operations. With key members from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, USC Center for Social and Economic Research, USC Marshall School of Business, and USC Keck School of Medicine we are designing a performance dashboard for the USC Department of Emergency Medicine, and evaluate mediators of effective audit and feedback interventions in this setting.

Learn more about their work:

  • van Deen WK, Cho ES, Pustolski K, Wixon D, Lamb S, Valente TW, Menchine M. Involving end-users in the design of an audit and feedback intervention in the emergency department setting – a mixed methods study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 April 29; 19(1).

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.