The Visual Dictionary of Antimicrobial Stewardship, Infection Control, and Institutional Surveillance Data

Julia Keizer*, Christian Luz, Bhanu Sinha, Lisette J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen, Casper Albers, Nienke Beerlage - de Jong, Corinna Glasner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Objectives: Data and data visualization are integral parts of (clinical) decision-making in general and stewardship (antimicrobial stewardship, infection control, and institutional surveillance) in particular. However, systematic research on the use of data visualization in stewardship is lacking. This study aimed at filling this gap by creating a visual dictionary of stewardship through an assessment of data visualization (i.e., graphical representation of quantitative information) in stewardship research. Methods: A random sample of 150 data visualizations from published research articles on stewardship were assessed (excluding geographical maps and flowcharts). The visualization vocabulary (content) and design space (design elements) were combined to create a visual dictionary. Additionally, visualization errors, chart junk, and quality were assessed to identify problems in current visualizations and to provide improvement recommendations. Results: Despite a heterogeneous use of data visualization, distinct combinations of graphical elements to reflect stewardship data were identified. In general, bar (n = 54; 36.0%) and line charts (n = 42; 28.1%) were preferred visualization types. Visualization problems comprised color scheme mismatches, double y-axis, hidden data points through overlaps, and chart junk. Recommendations were derived that can help to clarify visual communication, improve color use for grouping/stratifying, improve the display of magnitude, and match visualizations to scientific standards. Conclusion: Results of this study can be used to guide data visualization creators in designing visualizations that fit the data and visual habits of the stewardship target audience. Additionally, the results can provide the basis to further expand the visual dictionary of stewardship toward more effective visualizations that improve data insights, knowledge, and clinical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743939
JournalFrontiers in microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2021


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