Healthcare moving from paper to data

The transition to electronic health records (EHR) means the healthcare industry has been faced with moving huge amounts of data from paper files to electronic records. This has been driven by a number of factors, including the need for healthcare organizations to drive down costs and enable them to share confidential patient information between hospitals, clinics, and physician practices. The advances in health information technology (HIT) and the adoption of mobile devices has enabled remote medical professionals to access electronic health records to accelerate the provision of high-quality care to patients and reduce treatment times.


Protecting private data

Ensuring the security of confidential, patient health information is paramount as more and more data is stored and transferred between healthcare providers and medical institutions. Comprehensive compliance regulations have been introduced in North America to govern how organizations collect, use or disclose personal information to protect the privacy of individuals. Examples of these are the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Institutions handling or storing patient records must demonstrate ongoing compliance with this legislation or face stiff financial penalties for unauthorized disclosure of personal patient information.


Real-time KPIs can improve patient care

Data warehousing (DW) initiatives and business intelligence (BI) software have enabled research, physician, nursing, and administrative staff access to data from all sorts of sources. Top healthcare organizations use business analysis software to aggregate and render data in a way that provides greater insight and awareness. Delivering real-time, accurate and actionable information via graphic KPI Dashboards enables critical decisions to be made based on current information as well as helping healthcare providers to review trends, predict outcomes, and manage patients, staff and costs.


Fostering KPI awareness

A KPI Dashboard is an important tool that ensures that key metrics are available to front-line staff in a format that is relevant and easily understood. Physicians on rounds can view KPIs using a wireless mobile device. At a nurses station, a KPI dashboard on a PC desktop can display KPIs about patients and bed allocation. For public areas, wait time can be displayed to patients and their families using large flat panel monitors. Administrators and planners, can use a KPI dashboard to consolidate many of the metrics they need to operate more efficiently.


Clinical outcomes

This KPI Dashboard displays the outcome for each patient admitted, based on their medical condition. This information may lead you to discover new ways to improve your institution's practices to help save more lives and improve patients' quality of life.

Benefit: Know acceptable norms for clinical outcomes and take action to improve patient outcomes.
Audience: Decision-makers, healthcare providers
Calculation: Condition X (Outcome A, Outcome B, Outcome, etc) / 1000 patients
Example: Congestive heart failure ( 300 / 1000 hospitalized for less than 10 days, 500 / 1000 hospitalized for more than 10 days, 150 / 1000 second incident within 30 days, 50 / 1000 mortality within 48 hours of arrival)

Number of patients in ER

This KPI measures the current service level in your emergency room. Of all the KPIs on this list, this metric is the one that absolutely needs to be calculated in real-time and updated regularly. Beyond the need to know exactly what is going on in your ER, this KPI Dasboard can be used to display a wide range of data to help your ER deliver better service and patient outcomes. For example, including information about each patient, such as the severity of their condition, can make assigning the right staff to each patient straightforward.

Benefit: Decision-makers, healthcare providers
Audience: Executives, Banks and Lenders.
Calculation: A headcount (valuate each patient as 1), and then split patients into different categories based on severity.
Example: 5 patients waiting (non-severe), 7 patients admitted awaiting attendee (moderate-severity), 2 patients being attended to (severe).

Waiting times

This KPI graphic measures the average amount of time each patient has to wait in your  facility. Any wait time is too long, as far as patients are concerned.  Wait time is one of the chief  indicators of  patient satisfaction. You will know quickly when wait times are becoming too long and be able to do whatever is necessary to rectify the situation before patients begin to complain  You may not be able to fix the current crisis, but you can be better prepared for the next one.
Benefit: Know how long patients are waiting to be admitted in your ER.
Audience: Decision-makers, healthcare providers, general public
Calculation: (Time of check-in - Time of admittance / x days
Example: 90 min wait / past 30 days

Lab turnaround time


Measure the ability of your lab to process specimens. You can load your metrics and KPI for each laboratory operation, then monitor performance in real time.  The KPI Dashboard will let you know instantly how well your lab is performing.

Benefit: Know how your lab is performing compared to acceptable norms.
Audience: Decision-makers, healthcare providers
Calculation: Date test submitted - Date test results disclosed to physician (per test type)
Example: Test type 1 = 5 day turnaround; Test type 2 = 3 day turnaround


Hospital bed occupancy rate

Your KPI Dashboard shows how effectively you are using hospital facilities over a specific period of time. Occupancy rate can fluctuate greatly from one period to the next and from one hospital to another. Your determine what are your acceptable norms and your KPI Dashboard shows you how well you are doing and can help you to identify changes that could improve performance..
Benefit: Know how effective you are at managing hospital resources.
Audience: Decision-makers
Calculation: (Total beds (x days) / inpatient days of care (x days) ) * 100 = Rate% / x days
Example: 200 Beds (90days) / 170 inpatient (90days) = .85 or 85% / past 90 days

Average length of stay

Understanding the average length of stay may not be something that you need to know in real time, but it is still something that you need to know in order to plan effectively.  Your KPI dashboard is available on your mobile devices, so you can check your performance at any time.

Benefit: Know how long patients stay at your facility and find out why that is.
Audience: Decision-maker, healthcare providers
Calculation: (Date of admission - Date of discharge)
Example: 4 days is the average length of stay

Number of hospital acquired infections

This KPI graphic tracks the amount of hospital acquired infections (HAI) per 1000 patients. Any upward trend in HAI can signal a significant problem.  Real time information on your KPI Dashboard can be an early warning system so that you can identify and address the potential problem immediately.

Benefit: Know if people are getting infected from visiting your facility, and prevent as many cases as possible.
Audience: Decision-makers, health-care providers, general public
Calculation: Infection 1 = x amount of cases / 1000 cases
Example: C. Difficile 3.2 / 1000

Surgical site infection rate

This KPI Dashboard graphic illustrates the percentage of patients who develop post-operative infections at the surgical site. Unlike many of the KPIs on this list, this one is relatively straightforward to check since the infection will be actively monitored by healthcare providers. The infection rate metric can also be coupled with information about the procedure, such as the surgical team involved, and the type of procedure performed. This timely information can expose the source of a continuing problem so that it can be corrected.

Benefit: Know if infection rates are abnormal and be able to drill down to find out why.
Audience: Decision-makers, surgical teams
Calculation: Number of surgeries (organized by type) / number of site infections
Example: 1000 hip replacements / 5 site infections = .5% site infection rate

Patient satisfaction

This KPI Dashboard graphic will help you see the quality of your service from your patients' perspective.  Focusing on their level of satisfaction with staff, cleanliness of facilities, and clinical outcomes can help convert the subjectivity of these indicators into objective data that indicates areas for potential improvement.

Benefit: Know how your patients feel about your facility, and take steps to increase satisfaction.
Audience: Decision-makers, healthcare providers
Calculation: Assuming a survey with 1-5 ranking for each question, use this calculation: (sum of all points awarded for clinical section / maximum possible points for clinical section)
Example: 75 / 125 = 60% satisfaction