Linking data to decision-making: Applying qualitative data analysis methods and software to identify mechanisms for using outcomes data

Vaishali N. Patel, Anne W. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A multiple case study was conducted to examine how staff in child out-of-home care programs used data from an Outcomes Management System (OMS) and other sources to inform decision-making. Data collection consisted of thirty-seven semi-structured interviews with clinicians, managers, and directors from two treatment foster care programs and two residential treatment centers, and individuals involved with developing the OMS; and observations of clinical and quality management meetings. Case study and grounded theory methodology guided analyses. The application of qualitative data analysis software is described. Results show that although staff rarely used data from the OMS, they did rely on other sources of systematically collected information to inform clinical, quality management, and program decisions. Analyses of how staff used these data suggest that improving the utility of OMS will involve encouraging staff to participate in data-based decision-making, and designing and implementing OMS in a manner that reflects how decision-making processes operate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-474
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • Child and adolescent mental health services research
  • Decision-making
  • Informatics
  • Outcomes measurement
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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