Health care reform continues to be a hot button issue and more changes are expected. The government, medical facilities, physicians, health care workers and the general public are all stakeholders in improving quality and cost efficiency. Developing strategies that enhance patient satisfaction and reduce unnecessary spending requires bringing human-driven information and hard numbers together into a single, actionable system. Decision-makers are integrating executive health care dashboards to bring multifaceted data together that puts everyone on the same page.
Part of the call for health care reform was driven by a perceived disparity between quality and cost. Inefficiencies may put a higher than necessary burden on costs and limit the ability of medical facilities to understand and target quality issues. For example, healthcare executives and niche decision-makers rely on business intelligence departments (BI) to cull together cross-departmental information.
Th lack of Executive Health Care Dashboards maked the process of reaching out and funnel down a series of emails, text messages, excel spreadsheets and other formats into a single resource is grossly labor-intensive. The method also increases the potential for human error as items move from person to person. Perhaps you recall that game where a statement is passed down a line of people. The last person’s information often bears no resemblance to the initial message. For quality to go up and costs to go down accuracy matters. Executive health care dashboards streamline the process by having frontline care givers and representatives put data into one system one time. This eliminates the BI unit’s need to conduct back-and-forth transmissions and rechecks for accuracy. Everything funnels into the executive health care dashboard.
The previous era of a hospital and medical facility systems were reasonably good at financial information but had to rely on primarily anecdotal information to understand patient-quality issues. While valuable, patient feedback often lacked the hard numbers administrators desired.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Care Compliance Association held a roundtable that brought together industry leaders and government officials to focus on quality care. The joint discussion, called Driving for Quality in the Acute Care: A Board of Directors Dashboard, advocated for improved systems.
“Information dashboards have emerged as a vital tool for hospital boards committed to promoting quality improvement within their organizations. Research has shown that there is a correlation between dashboard implementation and quality performance. For example, a well-designed dashboard can raise awareness of areas in which the hospital is underperforming. This enables the board to determine what needs to be done to improve performance.”
From unit leaders to board members, laser targeted decisions require solid information gathering and definable metrics. Becker’s Hospital Review published an article penned by consultant Quint Studer that calls for CEOs to hone issues down to four metric groups, “productivity, volume, clinical quality, and service.” The piece points out the data can be effectively visited at designated times for strategic purposes.
Actionable Metrics Reviews
There’s seemingly no ceiling to the amount and diversity of data that can be channeled to stakeholders through a dashboard. The Studer article, “The Hospital CEO’s Ultimate Dashboard: What to Check Daily, Quarterly, and Yearly,” suggests utilizing data in time frames. Recommended daily metrics may include:
- Outpatient no-shows: If the facility sees an uptick, it may be time to revisit reminder systems.
- OR efficiency: Prompt start times help avoid patient procedure delays and log jams.
- Volume: Patient tracking information helps with staffing and asset allocation.
- ER times: A key insight is how long it takes to make a decision about admittance.
The daily metrics can be crunched in terms of quality, employees, physicians and other suitable hard data for review every three months. Quarterly reviews allow leaders to look over a significant amount of information and implement broader strategies. As time goes on, comparative reviews to past quarters become available and long-term trends emerge.
Yearly reviews are beneficial for board members and top-ranking administrators to refine the philosophies and strategies that support the facility’s approach. The communication about decision runs from upper-management to departmental leaders to frontline healthcare professionals and staff.
While this may sound somewhat abstract, executive health care dashboards basically link a medical facility’s boots on the ground people that input critical information to supervisory personnel and ultimately the board of directors. In today’s technology speak, one might say that emergency rooms can be “synched” with the board rooms through executive health care dashboards.