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The use of visual images to convey complex messages in health settings: Stakeholder perspectives

Cluley, V. ORCID: 0000-0003-3258-3039, Bateman, N. & Radnor, Z. ORCID: 0000-0002-1624-5729 (2020). The use of visual images to convey complex messages in health settings: Stakeholder perspectives. International Journal of Healthcare Management, doi: 10.1080/20479700.2020.1752983


Visual tools are increasingly used in healthcare settings to improve the quality of care provided. While there are a number of tools and frameworks that focus on how to create effective visual tools, there has been little evaluation of their perceived efficacy. This paper presents findings from a project that sought to evaluate the use of visual images to convey quality improvement messages to healthcare professionals. The research setting was a UK Clinical Commissioning Group, however, the findings are readily translatable to other healthcare environments. The study employed a practice approach based predicated on a social constructionist standpoint. Semi-structured interviews with 26 healthcare professionals and participant observation were used to garner user perspectives. Here we present and discuss a thematic analysis of the interview talk, focusing on four emergent themes: design; facilitated insight; data density; and co-creation. From this, we draw two positive conclusions, first that the visual communication of complex messages to healthcare professionals can provide an efficient and effective mode of communication, and second that co-creation and inclusivity are key to success.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Healthcare Management on 15 Apr 2020, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Visual communication, healthcare management, change, complexity, healthcare
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
Text - Accepted Version
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