Using visual computing tools to improve clinical engagement and group communication

Joanne Curry, Ante Prodan

School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, University of Western Sydney,

Parramatta, NSW, Australia

 

Abstract

The aim of this tutorial is to introduce participants to a highly visual multi-methods approach for the purposes of improving group engagement and communication amongst clinical staff during health service and clinical improvement projects The approach uses highly visual computing tools as a medium for facilitating understanding of current patient journeys and the creation and simulation of possible patient journey improvements and ‘what-if’ scenarios.  The session will provide participants with a hands-on opportunity to learn about and use Constructive research and participatory action research methods enacted via the use of visual patient journey modeling. Participants will have ample opportunity to see examples of the proposed approach in action and to practice on real-world problems, all with support from the tutorial facilitator.

Clinical engagement and general group understanding of the outputs, are being increasingly acknowledged as essential to the success of quality improvement initiatives within healthcare, particularly where IT is being used as an improvement enabler. The aim of this tutorial is to introduce participants to a highly visual mixed methods approach for the purposes of improving group engagement and communication amongst clinical staff during health service and clinical improvement projects.  The session will provide participants with a hands-on opportunity to learn about and use Constructive research and participatory action research methods enacted via the use of visual patient journey modeling integrated with visual discrete-event simulation. The following scientific content will be covered in the tutorial: Constructive research and Participatory Action Research, visual patient journey modeling and visual even-driven process simulation.


Learning objective

In general, the aim of the tutorial is to inform researchers on the potential of different approaches and techniques as well as possible pitfalls when undertaking clinical process improvements.

The participants will:

  1. acquire knowledge on a novel mixed methods approach that uses visual tools as a communication medium in a constructive research and participatory action research environment;

  2. learn how to use the Essomenic architecture and associated tools (freely available for academic purposes) to create visual patient journey models;

  3. learn how to translate Essomenic models into visual simulations using the AnyLogic simulation tool.

  4. develop specific abilities to facilitate group engagement and improved communication in health care environments that is predicated towards improvements of clinical processes.

 

Target audience

The targeted audience for this tutorial are researchers, quality improvement and health care managers interested in improving buy-in and contributions of clinical staff, to the complex IT concepts associated with clinical improvement via visual patient journey modeling and its integration with computer simulation. Beginners through to experienced users will be catered for.


Pre-requisite knowledge

Some familiarity with Microsoft Visio and business process analysis is useful but not necessary. Participants need to be familiar with the PC operating system and its user interface. To take part in practical activities participants will need a laptop computer with Microsoft Visio software installed. Microsoft Visio is not available on Mac OS platform, consequently MacBook users will need access to Windows through Boot Camp or Parallels desktop for Mac virtual machine software.

The free trial version of Microsoft Visio can be downloaded from the following page: http://visio.microsoft.com/en-us/trybuy/tryvisio2010forfree/pages/try_visio_2010_for_free.aspx and it can be used for up to 60 days. Tutorial teachers will make available a Microsoft Visio trail install package on a USB stick.

 

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