Requirements for a Dashboard to Support Quality Improvement Teams in Pain Management

Jeremy Opie, M Bellio, Rhys Williams, M Sussman, P Voegele, J Welch, Ann Blandford
in Frontiers in Big Data, Journal article


Pain management is often considered lower priority than many other aspects of health management in hospitals. However, there is potential for Quality Improvement (QI) teams to improve pain management by visualising and exploring pain data sets. Although dashboards are already used by QI teams in hospitals, there is limited evidence of teams accessing visualisations to support their decision making. This study aims to identify the needs of the QI team in a UK Critical Care Unit (CCU) and develop dashboards that visualise longitudinal data on the efficacy of patient pain management to assist the team in making informed decisions to improve pain management within the CCU. This research is based on an analysis of transcripts of interviews with healthcare professionals with a variety of roles in the CCU and their evaluation of probes. We identified two key uses of pain data: direct patient care (focusing on individual patient data) and QI (aggregating data across the CCU and over time); in this paper, we focus on the QI role. We have identified how CCU staff currently interpret information and determine what supplementary information can better inform their decision making and support sensemaking. From these, a set of data visualisations has been proposed, for integration with the hospital electronic health record. These visualisations are being iteratively refined in collaboration with CCU staff and technical staff responsible for maintaining the electronic health record. The paper presents user requirements for QI in pain management and a set of visualisations, including the design rationale behind the various methods proposed for visualising and exploring pain data using dashboards.