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Healthcare Dashboards: 3 Keys for Creating Effective and Insightful Executive Dashboards

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As the use of data-driven Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) increases, healthcare organizations are adopting Executive Dashboards to track organizational performance. While dashboards deliver insight and identify areas for improvement, they fail to make the data actionable and the value is often offset by the unproductive fire drills and churn they create. There are three keys to create and deploy insightful and effective dashboards successfully:

1. Aggregation of underlying dashboards to create the executive dashboard
2. Establishment of clear ownership and accountability
3. Sustainable process

Published in: Healthcare

Healthcare Dashboards: 3 Keys for Creating Effective and Insightful Executive Dashboards

  1. 1. Healthcare Dashboards: 3 Keys for Creating Effective and Insightful Executive Dashboards — Russ Stahelli
  2. 2. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. The Reality of Executive Dashboards Executive Dashboards have become prevalent in today’s healthcare landscape. Dashboards deliver insight and identify areas for improvement. The truth is the value of executive dashboards is often offset by the unproductive fire drills and churn they create.
  3. 3. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. Keys to Executive Dashboard Success 1. Aggregation of underlying dashboards to create the executive dashboard 2. Establishment of clear ownership and accountability 3. Sustainable process
  4. 4. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 1. Aggregate Underlying Dashboards The first key is the most important in creating an effective executive dashboard. To drive performance improve- ment an executive dashboard must be an aggregation of underlying dashboards. This bottom-up approach delivers an aggregated summary of key metrics from the organization.
  5. 5. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 1. Aggregate Underlying Dashboards The Chief Medical Officer sees that length of stay (LOS) has increased for new mothers in Women and Children’s. Seeking more clarification on the outlier she sends an e-mail to the Director of Women and Children’s. The director forwards the message to her team requesting additional detail and explanation. Consider this scenario
  6. 6. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 1. Aggregate Underlying Dashboards Following several hours of work, and multiple emails, the team locates the report the CMO is referring to. They determine how it was created, and produce their own report to refute or explain the data. Lacking proper analytical tools the result is a response that may or may not represent reality. Consider this scenario
  7. 7. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 1. Aggregate Underlying Dashboards To avoid similar fire drills executive dashboards must be built from underlying departmental dashboards. An effective executive dashboard methodology is one where the departments with accountability for the metric, vet, approve, and produce the metrics merged into the executive version.
  8. 8. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 2. Establish Ownership & Accountability The second key to establishing successful executive dash- boards is to establish clear ownership and accountability for each tracked measure. In the example shared above, the CMO knew who to reach out to in order to understand the LOS data. In healthcare organizations, however, performance account- ability is rarely so well defined.
  9. 9. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 2. Establish Ownership & Accountability This question of ownership goes hand in hand with using underlying dashboards to feed the executive dashboard. Each underlying dashboard has a designated owner. Account- ability is well defined. Each dashboard owner pro- actively monitors the data to ensure improved performance on the measure is achieved.
  10. 10. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 3. Make the Process Sustainable The third key to a successful executive dashboard is to make the process sustainable. Executive dashboards tend to get more complex over time. Executives become accustomed to seeing a series of measures on a regular basis, and they rarely drop measures from their dashboards. On the contrary, they add them.
  11. 11. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 3. Make the Process Sustainable To ensure sustainability the owners of the underlying dashboards are accountable for populating the executive dashboards. This decentralized model ensures the dashboard owner, who understands the data best, is responsible for integrating data into the executive dashboard.
  12. 12. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. 3. Make the Process Sustainable An effective framework specifies a standard data format to which every underlying application or dashboard must conform. The framework consists of a handful of items that every measure must present— such as unit, month, and clinical area—so the data is represented in a uniform way.
  13. 13. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. Executive Dashboard Example An example of an executive dashboard created from an aggregation of underlying dashboards showing actionable data and clear measurements.
  14. 14. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. Executive Dashboards Done Right Organizations that implement the three keys outlined in this commentary will have effective and insightful executive dashboards. Leadership will gain deeper insight in to overall organiza- tional performance and better empower those accountable to continually drive improvement.
  15. 15. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. More about this topic The Best of Data Collection Tools in Healthcare: Why Excel & Access Are Not the Answer Eric Just, Vice President of Technology Automating the Executive Healthcare Dashboard: Spend Less Time Collecting and Validating KPI Data Health Catalyst Success Story Why the New Interactive Healthcare Dashboard Is Gaining Momentum Adrienne Murray, Vice President, Executive Engagement Executive Dashboard Integration Tool Product Demo Best Solution to Aggregate Healthcare Data Including Clinical, Financial, Research, Population Health, and More Eric Just, Vice President of Technology Link to original article for a more in-depth discussion. Healthcare Dashboards: 3 Keys for Creating Effective and Insightful Executive Dashboards
  16. 16. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. For more information:
  17. 17. © 2014 Health Catalyst www.healthcatalyst.com Proprietary. Feel free to share but we would appreciate a Health Catalyst citation. Other Clinical Quality Improvement Resources Click to read additional information at www.healthcatalyst.com Russ Staheli joined Catalyst as a data architect in October 2011. He started his career as an Intern and later Outcomes Analyst at Intermountain Healthcare in the Institute for Health Care Delivery Research supporting the Advanced Training Program for Executives & QI Leaders (ATP) and the Primary Care Clinical Program. Before coming to Catalyst he worked as a Management Engineer Programmer Analyst for the Duke University Health System in their Performance Services department supporting their Infection Control and Epidemiology efforts. While there, he also worked as an external consultant to advance the analytical work of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network (DICON), a collaborative of over 30 community hospitals. Russ holds an Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Administration from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Research from the University of Utah.

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