Observing dashboards
 


Dashboard is an easy to read, often single page, real-time user interface, showing a graphical presentation of the current status (snapshot) and historical trends of an organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to enable instantaneous and informed decisions to be made at a glance.
 
For example, a manufacturing dashboard may show KPIs related to productivity such as number of parts manufactured, or number of failed quality inspections per hour. Similarly, a human resources dashboard may show KPIs related to staff recruitment, retention and composition, for example number of open positions, or average days or cost per recruitment.

Practice operations monitoring using a dashboard is not a new concept. We are familiar with observing dashboards related to operating motorized vehicles and machinery. We also use graphical dials to adjust and fine tune many of our electronic devices. The idea of incorporating a dashboard with day-to-day operations is threefold:

1) it consolidates all the key operational metrics administrators regularly review into a central document for easy reference;

2) it imposes rigor to obtaining and organizing data from multiple areas on a regular basis; and

3) it organizes data in a fashion that is easy to review, analyze and comprehend.

Practices that develop a dashboard find it to be a highly effective tool to help drive better quality, reduce costs, and enhance patient services. Important to dashboard development are the dials that are created and monitored. These need to be identified and agreed to in advance. Moreover, the process and sources for obtaining the data need to be defined. Each practice dashboard is unique reflecting key operational areas relevant to the practice’s operations.

Dashboard observation and monitoring should be done on an continous basis and to illustrate we take an example of healthcare industry and dashboard observation and management, as

General dashboard metric areas to consider include:

  • Financial Activities: Revenue/Expense; Revenue Sources; Accounts Receivables; Bad Debt
  • Patient Experience: Satisfaction Scores; Complaints; Average Wait Times; New Patients Joining Practice and Patients Leaving the Practice
  • Claim Processing: Average Time to Bill; Average Cost to Bill; Average Time for Bills to be Paid by Insurer
  • Patient Volume Productivity: Average Patients Seen per Day; No Shows; Cancellations; After Hours Calls
  • P4P Metrics: ED Utilization; HEDIS Compliance; Meaningful Use
  • Referrals: Sources; Service Type Requested; Timeliness in Scheduling Referrals by Specialty Patient Feedback Based Upon Experience with a Specialist
  • Practice/Safety: Staff Reporting and Feedback
  • Patient Demographics: Age; Gender; Race, Ethnicity, Language; Insurance Source