The DHIN Practice Analytics Node hosted its first event at the start of March: the Practice Analytics Workshop. The workshop featured a range of speakers including international guest Associate Professor Rodrigo Cavalcanti from the University of Toronto, and Professor Richard Doherty from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Attendees got to hear seminars on the nature of practice analytics, see demonstrations of new platforms for feeding back health data, and actively engage in exploring the design of systems for exploring personalized professional development and performance feedback.
One of the most exciting components of the workshop was the expert panel discussion: How do we manage privacy, access and governance of data in Practice Analytics? The panel was chaired by Professor Tim Shaw and featured panelists Liz Reay, Dr. Jean-Frederic Levesque, Professor Richard Doherty, Dr. Paul Nicolarakis and Dr. Felicity Gallimore. The panel explored a wide range of issues about data governance and privacy. A key component of the discussion was how understanding the reason data was being collected, was more likely to lead to high-quality data collection. Understanding the purpose for data collection was also seen as a key component of governance, with panelists suggesting there needed to be clarity around who data custodians were, how collected data was governed and the governing bodies’ role in providing appropriate advice on best practice data use. The discussion on understanding why data was being collected also flowed into a lively discussion around the definition of primary versus the secondary use of data. The use of data for Practice Analytics is frequently described as a secondary use, however, one panelist poignantly stated “What other purpose does clinical data service, but to reflect on and improve? If you’re using it to improve care, that becomes primary use for me.”
Another topic that came through strongly in the panel discussion, and was reiterated later in the workshop session, was the distinction between individual and team-based practice analytics. There was extensive discussion on whether data should be collected and fed back on individuals or on teams to reflect on practice collectively. One panelist noted, “The proximity of certain technological tools and objects that health professionals will carry and check will increasingly help us understand the individual’s role in the team and assess performance at different levels.” It was clear from the panel discussion that team-based performance data was not just useful for practice analytics, but also potentially important for patients too. A panelist commented that “Increasingly from the patient’s perspective, we are more interested in the effectiveness of the team and safety of care by the team than we are really about the individual health professional.” But, as another panelist articulated, collecting team-based data and team-based learning is not the same thing, “learning happens at the individual level right? So even though we’re analysing data from the teams, I think if you’re trying to impact learning you need to recognise that learning happens for the individual, but the team doesn’t necessarily learn.”
The Practice Analytics workshop had a fantastic turnout, with over 50 attendees from across all levels of the health sector, and a great turn out of DHIN members! Attendees shared their thoughts on Practice Analytics throughout the day and were very engaged in the workshop. As one attendee commented, “An excellent workshop with a good practical component that encouraged participants to think about how data could be used for clinician feedback in the real world.”