Standardized dashboard metrics help hospitals streamline sepsis efforts


Creating dashboards can make care quality metrics easily visible and accessible. To that end, an article published this month in the journal Big Data describes how analysts for one electronic health record vendor were able to standardize metrics for dashboards across client organizations and significantly save time in the process.

Though planning dashboards for an array of clinical conditions, the analysts chose to start with dashboards to provide visualizations of the processes and outcomes associated with sepsis and 30-day readmissions. The dashboards allowed monitoring and analysis of client hospitals individually and as a group.

The goals were to increase efficiency, decrease variability in the analytics process and make data from any hospital’s EHR system available to a range of users, including analysts, administrators, clinical and IT leaders. The study did not address the clinical effectiveness of these dashboards.

The analysts started by identifying the key metrics involved. Then visual representations of each metric were developed, focusing on effectively presenting the data in one or two views with a minimum of clicks. Then the data was visually presented by month to create a historical timeline aimed at identifying trends and anomalies.

The dashboards use visualization software and aggregated hospital-level data from a cloud platform. Each month, a database query pulls in data across facilities and the dashboards are updated for users.

Before these dashboards, the analytics teams manually queried, cleaned, aggregated and analyzed data one facility at a time.

The researchers estimated that hospitals saved around 289 hours in the first year, when the sepsis dashboards were being set up. They project time savings of 236 hours in year two and 350 hours in year three.

The readmission dashboard project, with fewer client hospitals, produced no time savings in year one. With more participating clients, they project 37 hours will be saved in year two and 100 hours in year three.

To learn more:
- here's the article