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Table 4 Considerations for the design of future performance monitoring systems for health promotion implementation

From: Can an electronic monitoring system capture implementation of health promotion programs? A focussed ethnographic exploration of the story behind program monitoring data

Considerations for the design of the IT system

• Mechanisms are needed to sort and retrieve information stored as “free text” data. Existing examples range from inbuilt search functions, quality audit processes, and machine learning/text mining methods.

• Capturing data about behaviours of system users can be used to improve efficiency of design and inform decisions about how to use the system in practice. Examples could include information about time spent on individual functions, number of log-ins and time of day used, device used to log on (e.g. mobile vs computer), etc

• Fields or data points could be inbuilt in IT systems to capture work that is outside of standardised program implementation. Such information- e.g. contact details, activity logs, distribution of materials, etc. – likely mirrors information required for delivery of the standardised program and could be made easily distinguishable, thereby harnessing and expanding upon existing infrastructure to serve multiple purposes

• Provisions are needed to track and summarise the types of activities involved (i.e. breadth) and number of steps involved, and over what period of time (i.e. intensity), in achieving a target. In the context of PHIMS, this data is already being captured but requires mechanisms by which to better summarise, consolidate, and make existing data more informative and meaningful

• Practitioners may be best-placed to identify key contextual indicators that influence target achievement and should be involved in identifying what data requires routine collection

Considerations for the measurement and monitoring of implementation and performance targets

• Track incremental progress toward target achievements outside notes function

• In assessing progress, consider applying weights based on contextual indicators to account for variabilities in context that influence progress towards target achievement

Considerations for the broader management context in which IT monitoring systems are used

• Ensure further mechanisms and tools exist alongside the formal system to support innovative practice, and to capture and elevate innovations that develop alongside standardised programs

• Incorporate audit and feedback tools and processes that provide useful strategies to use data for and facilitate quality improvement

• Recognise and attend to tensions between performance monitoring functions and quality improvement functions. Adapt performance management structures to facilitate collaboration and innovation over competition