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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gauging Progress: Clinical Dashboard Use by Community-Based Clinicians

  • Author(s): Brown, Todd
  • Advisor(s): Chorpita, Bruce F.
  • et al.

The use of measurement feedback systems, such as clinical dashboards, has been found to improve clinical judgments and client outcomes. However, despite the evidence demonstrating the benefits of tracking and using measurements to enhance treatment, the practice remains relatively rare amongst clinicians, even after they have received training on dashboard use. These challenges highlight the need to investigate the research-practice gap around dashboard utility in order to identify both areas for improvement as well as strengths to harness further. This dissertation sought to explore clinicians’ experiences with clinical dashboards through two studies. The first study examined how various dashboard components affect clinicians’ attitudes towards dashboard use and their abilities to interpret dashboard data effectively. Results found that the presence of advanced dashboard components did not subjectively improve clinicians’ experiences with dashboards. However, expert users were more likely to report that data-rich dashboards were better suited for making clinical decisions. This finding points to potential benefits in varying dashboard complexity around user levels of expertise. The second study used a mixed methods approach to explore barriers and benefits to dashboard use. Qualitative data gathered from supervisor interviews was compared with quantitative data collected from a clinician survey to examine agreements and differences related to continued dashboard use. Feedback indicated broad agreement around certain challenges, such as time constraints and lack of agency support, along with discrepancies around others, with supervisors underestimating the impact on clinicians of low agency-level prioritization. Taken together, the studies comprising this dissertation suggest that dashboard implementation efforts may be improved by designing dashboards flexibly to include content that clinicians find most useful and by targeting agency-level barriers that impede ongoing use in practice.

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