Using Executive Dashboards for Hospital Management
Those of us who have done dashboard projects in multiple industries know that the first step is to understand that vertical’s particular workflows, business rules and measures of performance. Finding out what KPIs to display on the enterprise dashboard for a particular type of business is no easy task unless you have first hand knowledge of that industry. Most consultants called in to implement a business dashboard don’t really know the industry first hand and must rely on the client’s subject matter experts. That is fine, but the dashboard vendor or consultant must do as much preparation in studying the client’s business as much as possible in advance. Yes, your particular expertise may be in dashboarding as a horizontal service, but as nice as your dashboard looks and works, it will not succeed if it doesn’t measure the right things.
For anyone involved in healthcare-related performance dashboards, here is a great primer on the workflows for a hospital. This is from a vendor named statcom and, while it is a sales and marketing tool, it does offer plenty of value-add and education for us dashboarders. It is offered as an interactive flash hospital workflow and patient flow simulator. I’ve grabbed a couple of screenshots of the demo as well as the different executive dashboards involved:
After launching the demo, there is a nice interactive menu as you can see. By the way, here is the link to the hospital workflow simulator. Even this menu listing is of value to someone new in this space, as it breaks down the functions and groups within a healthcare facility: Hospital executives, Emergency Department, Patient and Family Communications, Bed Management, Hospital Support Services, Procedure Centers, Perioperative Services, Physicians and Nurses, Diagnostic Services, Case Management, Clinical Support Services.
Here are some dashboards that track key performance indicators in a hospital:
This first one is an executive dashboard for upper management. They call it a Business Activity Monitoring Dashboard. KPIs include: LOS (length of stay) statistics, Projected Occupancy, Average Bed Turns, Accuracy of Discharge Predictions, Emergency Department Disposition to Bed Placement in Unit, and the unfortunately-named Average Dead Bed Time (ouch!!!).
The Emergency Department Dashboard shows real time performance metrics such as Cycle times from door to discharge, milestone measurements of door to disposition, triage to disposition and triage to MD assessment, Diagnostic turnarounds and patient statistics such as the number of patients that are Emergency Department Boarders, Leaving against Medical Advice and (unfortunately) Expired.
The hospital case management dashboard show key stats such as:
- Occupancy predictions by day of week (based upon estimated day of discharge)
- Average time of day that patients are discharged by unit (running 7-day average)
- Time from case management referral to completion
- Case Management order status
Bed management is of course a major focus in hospitals and we have seen several bed managment dashboards before on the Dashboard Spy. This one, according to statcom, provides bed managers a real-time view of bed availability and discharge status including:
- Occupied and available beds across the system and by unit
- Number of critical and telemetry beds available
- Number of observation patients
- Length of stay (LOS) and discharge statistics from time a discharge order is written until the patient actually leaves the room
- Key hospital support service performance relative to bed turns, such as Environmental Services: stat turnaround, clean next bed turnaround, last bed on the Unit turnaround, and routine turnaround
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