The co-construction of evidence in health care – the sensemaker matters

Date: Wednesday 21 March 2012
Time: 12:45 pm 1:45 pm
Venue: Jerry Morris, LSHTM, 15-17 Tavistock Place, London, WC1H 9SH, UK
Type of event: Seminar
Speaker(s): Dr Raheelah Ahmad, National Centre for Infection Prevention and Management Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Evidence means different things to different individuals and is determined by the context in which they operate. The use of evidence by healthcare professionals regarding clinical care has been the subject of focussed attention with the emergence of ‘evidence based medicine’ and practice.  The meaning and use of evidence for non-clinical decisions which ultimately have an impact on patient care are not well explored. To capture how decisions are made and the use of evidence in this process authors asked – ‘how do managers make sense of evidence?’ They report early findings from a qualitative study of four acute care hospitals across England, and look at the types and sources of evidence sourced by diverse professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, allied to health professionals and non-clinical managers). Authors find that identity construction (of the ‘sensemaker’) and continuous sensemaking in the face of incomplete information help understand varying perceptions of evidence. A tension was observed between the pursuit of ‘accuracy’ and the need for ‘plausibility’ in the empirical setting, with implications for non-clinical decisions by health care managers.

Admission: All welcome, if you are coming from outside LSHTM please contact Marina Karanikolos