Understanding the attitudes of health professionals to performance data

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

Project Description

Increasingly, both academic and industry research is investigating the potential use of existing patient health information, professional peer reviews, and employee feedback to gather comprehensive and quality data on the clinical performance and professional competencies of healthcare professionals. Notably, there is a strong interest in exploring the attitudes of medical practitioners towards performance data and its potential use for the design of ad hoc professional development plans and personalised educational programs.

Unfortunately, few studies have supplied knowledge and evidence around these matters. Moreover, there is little research on how to engage healthcare professionals in the development of recommendations at organisational level, and there are no guidelines or best practices on how to make optimal use of their opinions and insight. Filling this gap in the literature represents a unique opportunity.

In fact, in addition to fostering greater learner-centredness, this project will also encourage reflective practices among health professionals and help them focus on goals and outcomes. Furthermore, it will provide Australasian medical regulatory bodies, healthcare service organisations, and medical education providers with unique insights and evidence-based information that could be used to inform their current and future governance, planning, and decision-making processes.

This PhD project sits within the wider Practice Analytics project.

Project Objectives

This research project aims to:

  1. understand how performance data can be used to inform future design and implementation of personalised educational programs for Australian and New Zealand medical practitioners;
  2. investigate standpoints and processes of medical regulatory agencies, healthcare service organisations, and medical education providers towards performance data and its potential use for professional development and performance improvement;
  3. explore how the attitudes of healthcare professionals might impact the use of performance data for such purposes.

In view of this, the overarching objectives of the research are to:

  1. map the relationship among systemic factors, use of performance data at organisational level, individual attitudes and behaviour toward this type of data and its potential use for continuous learning purposes in both clinical and professional domains;
  2. describe the use of performance data in healthcare service organisations, with a specific focus on the current use of individuals’ and teams’ performance data to identify learning opportunities and set individualised professional development goals;
  3. identify the factors and variables that influence the attitudes of medical practitioners towards performance data and its current and future uses in performance improvement.

Industry Participants

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

Research Participant

The University of Sydney
Carol Pizzuti, PhD student


DHCRC PhD Scholarship