Bridging the gap between data and decision-makers: A case study

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Evidence-based practice has been the clinical gold standard in mental health for the last 20 years. However, the practice of evidence-based health service management is relatively new, only made possible by recent technological advances. One of the key challenges in implementing evidence-based management is bridging the gap between data and the cumulative experience of a managerial team. Here I present a case study of two possible methods for bridging this gap: group program logic modelling, and collaborative simulation modelling. Participants were senior mental health managers (N=15) in a large public health provider who engaged the services of a simulation modeller for a series of service planning decisions. They participated in two 2-hour facilitated group program logic modelling sessions before key individual decision-makers engaged in a further 1-hour session of simulation model building. Preliminary survey and observational data shows that the process of model building increased participants’ understanding of their health service. This result highlights the potential of collaborative model building as ‘thought support’, where the benefit is in the process not just the outcome. The case study also highlights the need for flexible and continual engagement with decision-makers, and presents two potentially efficient and effective tools to this end.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventMental Health Services (MHS) Conference 2015: Translating Best Practice into Reality - National Convention Centre, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015 (Conference Handbook)


ConferenceMental Health Services (MHS) Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleTheMHS 2015
Internet address


  • Mental Health Service Reform
  • Research & Evaluation Informing Practice
  • innovation
  • quality

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