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the most effective in pinpointing variations in individual and group physician performance. Nurses also benefi t from weekly, monthly and quar- terly reports that cover performance on all units and fl oors. The throughput dashboard tracks unit progress on 11 a.m. discharge initiatives, forcing conversations over how to expedite discharge through actions, such as a designated discharge educa- tion nurse, early tray delivery and enhanced patient trans- port systems.


Michael Lindberg, M.D., FACP, is chairman, department of medicine, at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.


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The patient throughput dashboard offers us a way to communicate targets, expectations and best practices to clinical and operational staff. By letting people know how they stack up against hospital expectations, they’re better able to receive feedback and make the kind of changes that improve care delivery and patient fl ow.


Implementing BI dashboards: Lessons learned Here’s our advice on how to implement BI tools to solve challenges, such as patient throughput:


• Evaluate the overall impact of dashboard perfor- mance as well as factors, such as ease of use, intuitive graphics, drill-down capability, data accuracy, training and addressing patient fl ow needs.


• Assemble an early discharge multidisciplinary com- mittee or task force to conduct a weekly review of early discharge numbers and improvement strate- gies.


• Populate the evaluation or implementation team with department leaders, practice managers and division chiefs who may not understand the mechanics of BI but would benefi t from the information produced.


• Seek out a vendor that will work with the hospital or health system to personalize the dashboard and metrics.


• Take a phased approach to implementation. Begin with eight to 10 dashboard metrics, and gradually add more as adoption takes hold.


• Rely on annual balanced scorecard objectives to de- cide on how dashboards will be used in the future.


• Gradually add enhancements such as case mix, at- tending assignment and admission (diagnosis-related group).


HMT


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