Patients do not visit hospitals seeking subpar care, nor is that something that healthcare professionals wish to deliver. Yet upon visitation, you may unknowingly receive care that falls short. Setting reasons like patient attitude and general frustration aside, performance is often diminished due to the operation of the hospital itself. Inefficient management can have a large impact on care and while many hospitals are stuck with inefficient means to quantify the quality of care, a new tool has emerged to help bridge the gap between your care and the best care; the hospital dashboard.
While some larger hospitals have implemented dashboards, many other hospitals are stuck in a mire of data that directs treatment. On the micro-level, treatment information is compiled and quantified by analysts who try and sort out thousands of reports to create a database that workers can reference. When a clinician, board member, manager … virtually any employee needs specific information from the database, they submit a request to the analyst to create a report. Analysts bogged down with a constant influx of requests, often don’t have time to analyze the data, resulting in a late report of unanalyzed numbers on a spreadsheet that is a nightmare to disseminate. On the macro-level, hospital boards, which often shoulder sole-responsibility for improving care, can hardly make sense of reports to identify which services succeed and which falter. Because some board members do not possess a healthcare knowledge-base, it becomes virtually impossible to serve their primary function of hospital improvement. The system is painful for everyone involved from the analysts, to the workers, to the board members, and to ultimately… the patients.
The solution to this system is the hospital dashboard. A dashboard is a digital display of real-time data that can be accessed at any time and is organized into a customizable, user-friendly, visual interface that can be interpreted in seconds to inform evidence-based decisions. Dashboards can identify revenue leaks, measure patient volume, measure referrals, track resource consumption, and display virtually any variables of hospital function to direct improvement. Each user can customize their interface, preventing them from having to sift through irrelevant data. Information is instantaneous, accurate, and relevant.
Hospital Dashboard Benefits are immense. Quality patient care is maximized by minimizing judgment components, permitting doctors to promptly direct plans of action based upon up-to-date data and evidence. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between the use of dashboards and quality of patient care. Workers need not wait for a report that is often obsolete by the time it is delivered and doubt that proper analysis has been performed. Board members, who are charged with improving care, can see any aspect of hospital function on one screen. When they can visualize services that lag, those that excel, and trends backed by reliable, relevant data, they can act diligently to resolve issues.
Hospital dashboards have been implemented in larger hospital systems, but all hospitals have much to gain. Dashboards can help limited facilities deliver the same quality care as full-service facilities, bridging performance gaps when compared with large urban counterparts. They can especially help in directing improvement to hospitals that struggle to provide quality care.
The data mire that prevents hospitals from functioning optimally has a very easy solution: the hospital dashboard. It is easily accessible, easy to interpret, provides relevant, reliable data, and can be customized for each user to do a better job. The result of dashboard utilization is less stress for workers, analysts, board members, and patients with improved care and shorter hospital stays. And isn’t that what everyone wants?