Sensemaking with healthcare data

Flagship Program: Transparency of data to optimise clinical practice and referral

Project Description

Health institutions have an increasing amount of electronic data that is available to them; an initiative that has only grown as a result of the wide scale adoption of electronic health records (eHRs). This increase in accessible electronic data has curated an increased expectation that healthcare processes become more data-driven and informed as a result. This project focusses on using eHR data for reflective practice and encouraging professional development.

This PhD project sits within the wider Practice Analytics project and seeks to understand how performance feedback tools can be developed in such a way that makes sense to the clinicians that interact with them. In order to inform this, the PhD project seeks to understand how the existing concepts of sensemaking can be applied to physicians and surgeons who are interacting with data related to their performance. In conjunction to this, sensemaking will be explored further to understand the implications on reflexive practice; level of engagement with personal data; and actional insights for future practice.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of this project is to understand how health professionals make sense of data related to their professional performance. Such insights will be used to inform how performance feedback tools are designed with the goal to having higher engagement levels with clinical performance data and promoting reflective clinical practice.

The project will have a series of aims, the first of which seeks to assess to what extent existing qualitative and mixed-method research provides insights into the process of making sense of data related to a physician’s performance. Subsequently, the project aims to explore the sensemaking process across different medical specialities and hospital sites, and from this gain an understanding of what factors impact this process and how this can lead to more informed clinical practice.

Industry Participants

Adventist Healthcare
Cabrini Health Australia
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
St John of God Health Care

Research Participant

Monash University
Emma Whitelock-Wainwright, PhD student


DHCRC PhD Scholarship