Since the dawn of EMR nearly two decades ago, hospitals have been searching for tools that will help clinicians have access to critical information. In the vast roaming hallways of a hospital and the many floors which can separate staff, the challenge has become not so much accessing medical records information or enhancing workflows but making sense of the systemic operational challenges which affect outcomes, quality and overall value delivery. The challenge specifically is: to connect silo-ed systems which house operational data with other silo-ed system housing financial, clinical and quality data. Through the evolution of adopting many IT systems designed to help in workflow and scheduling, or enhance visibility of information to the ‘front lines’ one core feature has started to rear its ugly head in demand of answers: integration.
This is because a lack of accessibility to information in one system is starting to become a sore spot with very busy nursing staff who simply do not have the time to log into several different systems to get key information such as: complications, LOS, re admissions, ED as well as OR and Bed throughput, productivity ratios and cost implications of being on or off -target based on the average daily census. There is also the need to dig deeper to establish patient operational, quality and satisfaction dashboards which allow nurse managers to spot staffing related data which relates directly to quality, satisfaction and safety.
Quality improvement initiatives need the support of staff nurses in order to be successful, but most staff nurses don’t have time to read reports about how their individual unit is progressing. But they do have time to look at a dashboard that tells them at a glance whether their unit is meeting objectives or still has work to do. Many organizations are finding that quality data dashboards can be an excellent way of communicating information throughout an organization and can be customized to drill down to individual unit data or show organizational objectives as a whole.