Welcome to the world of Big Data. In health care, we amass a lot of data from various sources.
In the era of
To identify these threads, it is imperative that analytic tools such as data mining be used to make sense of the trove of digital data. The analysis of these mountains of data is important to support an organi- zation as a learning health system (LHS) (Olsen, Aisner, &
As patients, families, caregivers, and consumers become more engaged in the Connected Age, it will be equally important to connect these various data sources (PGHD as well as data from EHRs) to help individuals better manage their health. And, for maximum benefit, especially for patients and providers, there is a need to display data in an accessible, useful, and usable manner.
In a blog post on the
Garmen's views resonate with me as an educator and lead to questions for nursing education: 1) Will nurses need to demonstrate data visualization literacy competency to provide health care now and in the future? 2) Do we as educators need to help our students gain experience in reading and interpreting these statistical translations and using visualization techniques to provide patient data for clinical decision-making?
Before tacking these questions, it is important to understand the term data visualization literacy. I have been familiar with the term visual literacy from the work of Tufte, a statistician who uses infor- mation design to display data, information, and evidence (www. edwardtufte.com/tufte/). A working definition of visualization liter- acy was offered at a EuroVis 2014 Workshop: "As a scholarly subject, visualization literacy is expected to encompass both cognitive aspects (e.g., nonverbal reasoning, and spatial navigation with visual repre- sentations) and pedagogical aspects (e.g., learning visual representa- tions, metaphors and languages, educational curricula, and specialized training), and to explore cognitive abilities in visualization evaluation and competency development" (www.kth.se/profile/178785/page/ eurovis-2014-workshop-towards-visualiza/).
Now, as visual literacy merges with data literacy to form the new concept of data visualization literacy, we must ask: Is this a competency that nurses need? A review of the literature indicates that the answer is yes. Nurses need to understand and interpret the visual displays of data in their practice.
An example comes from
The Future of
My colleagues at the
So, how do clinicians present data that are understandable and use- ful for patients? A study by Arcia and colleagues (2013) provides a great example of how data visualizations will be used as we engage consumers in their health care and help them make better health decisions. This study examined how data visualizations were used to ethically return health data to low-health-literacy patient populations. The research team developed visualizations that were suitable for testing with members of the target community for both acceptability and comprehension.
Why is the use of data visualization in health care significant to educators? As noted in
What are we as educators doing to prepare our students to inter- pret these data? Think about it. We tend to focus on the narrative when teaching about clinical documentation, and we have a heavy emphasis on writing narratives for many class assignments. But are your students capable of interpreting data presented in visual displays? Do we give them opportunities to present their knowledge through visualizations? How much exposure to visual representations of data and information is available in your curriculum?
To help you explore the newly emerging area of visualization literacy, some resources are provided in Figure 1. Do not feel limited in your choice of visualization techniques. Rather, take a look at the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods in Figure 2 (www.visual- literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html), which allows you to view data visualization from various perspectives: information, concept, strategy, metaphor, and compound visualization methods. The chart has a mouse-over feature that shows you an example of each element.
Figure 1: Examples of Data Visualization
See nursing infographics and data visualizations together at www.bladetown.com/tag/nursing-data-visualization-and-infographics/
For examples of data visualization from census date, see www.census.gov/dataviz/
For examples of census data infographics, see www.census.gov/how/infographics/
For a review of major features of a web application that allows you to create a visualization from a
These three videos are from the Healthy Communities Data Summit in 2013:
* A Better Pie Chart and Beyond: The Evolution of Data Visualization at http://youtu.be/hYTZRhcq35M
* Consumer Access to Health Care Data at http://youtu.be/XAvQW2us_Rg
* Harnessing Data to Maximize Outcomes at http://youtu.be/7IYNzTAMC0c
Ted-Ed Lessons Worth Sharing:
Alfonzo, P. M., Sakraida, T. J., & Hastings-Tolsma, M. (2014). Bibliometrics: Visualizing the impact of nursing research.
Arcia, A., Bales, M. E., Brown, W., Co, M. C., Jr., Gilmore, M., Lee, Y. J., . . . Bak ken, S. (2013). Method for the development of data visualizations for community members w ith varying levels of health literacy. A MI A Annual Symposium Proceedings. Retrieved from w w w.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pmc/articles/PMC3900122/?report=classic
Bakos, K. K., Zimmerman, D., & Moriconi, D. (2012,
Collins, F. (2014,
Garmen, A. (2013,
Groves, P., Kayyali, B., Knott, D., &
Lengler, R., & Eppler, M. J. (2007). Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management. Retrieved from www.visual-literacy.org/peri- odic_table/periodic_table.pdf
Olsen, L., Aisner, D., &
Skiba, D. (2011). Informatics a nd the learning hea lthcare system. Nursing Education Perspectives, 32(5), 334-336. doi:10.5480/1536-5026-32.5.334
Vincent, D., Hastings-Tolsma, M., & Effken, J. (2010). Data visualization and large nursing datasets.
Diane j. skiba, editor
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