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.
Pivotal to providing cost effective, quality care is the ability for nurses to easily monitor the operations of their units without distracting themselves from their routine patient care duties. Nursing dashboards are an efficient way for nurses to get the information they need when they need it. This information is not just for recursive access to information but data stewardship which will enhance a hospital’s ability to meet the goals of value based purchasing related to the patient experience as well as the clinical domain.
Whether its pressure ulcers, falls with injury, SNF through put or ‘never events’, the goal is to take metrics gathered in the unit and make them available to the system as a whole. Why? Making data ubiquitous has the effect of disarming those systemic challenges related to quality, satisfaction and operational awareness because when questions are answered easily and efficiently the enterprise can see that it is delivering quality and value to the patient and community as a whole. How? Improvement related to nursing quality metrics such as staffing- RN turn over and skill mix (operational), pressure ulcers and medication errors (quality) and ratings (satisfaction) is a data management process which is brought to fruition by providers. Dashboards give nurses the tools for operational awareness they need to manage quality and make informed decisions on labor all the while preserving the integrity of the vision of value..