The information technology (IT) team at UHealth—University of Miami Health System—and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (Miami, FL) earned recognition as a finalist for ECRI's 17th Health Technology Excellence Award for developing an automated data dashboard that provides healthcare providers and administrators with the information they need to make data-driven operational decisions.
The Health Technology Excellence Award recognizes outstanding initiatives undertaken by member healthcare institutions to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology. For details about the winning submission and other finalists, see The Health Technology Excellence Award: Recognizing Exceptional Health Technology Management.
ECRI congratulates UHealth project team members, including Anantha Gangadhara Rao, Julio Pena, Dao Bullington, and Shiby Thomas.
UHealth—University of Miami
Health System—and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. (Image courtesy of UHealth.)
To equip healthcare providers and administrators with the information they need to make data-driven decisions for the operation of their departments or facilities.
The solution involved developing an automated data dashboard to provide decision makers with a centralized data source for viewing key performance indicators (KPIs) in support of goals such as improving patient access and the patient experience, as well as optimizing provider productivity.
For an administrator or chairperson of a medical department or division, making sound decisions requires monitoring operational KPIs to identify trends. Using data in this manner is like using a navigation system while driving, explains Anantha Gangadhara Rao, senior decision support analyst at UHealth and the Miller School. "The navigation system helps guide you through unknown terrain or course-correct if you begin moving away from the planned route, saving time and effort."
Provider metrics such as visit volume, no-show rate, lead time, relative value unit, surgical volume, and patient experience score provide an indication of the organization's performance. At UHealth and the Miller School, this data was spread across multiple different types of reports that were created manually and distributed occasionally (as PDF files). This was a labor-intensive and time-consuming effort given the organization's size, which includes 1,700 faculty members and spans 48 centers and institutes and 29 clinical and basic science departments. The result was that decision makers did not have consistent and timely access to the data they needed.
The IT team used business intelligence tools, notably Microsoft Power BI, to build a dashboard that would allow the organization to overcome this challenge. The team found tools such as Power BI to be useful for analyzing and visualizing raw data to present actionable information.
For this project, the IT team wrote several SQL queries to capture data from the organization's Epic electronic health record Clarity and Caboodle databases. This data was integrated into Power BI to create a dashboard that serves as a centralized repository for metrics across UHealth.
The dashboard uses Power BI's row-level security feature to restrict the data that users can see according to their role. That is, the report's content adapts and changes according to the role of the person viewing it. For example, an administrator can see all the KPIs for their department or division, while providers in that department can see only the KPIs that pertain to them. Designing the system in this way allowed the creation of a single report to serve various needs.
Individuals can access the report from any device—a cell phone, computer, a tablet, etc.—and at any time of day. One key benefit is that administrators no longer need to spend time sharing reports with their providers, since providers can now access the reports themselves.
By aggregating real-time data for relevant metrics, the dashboard allows users to visualize trends and gain a holistic view of organizational performance. Additionally, improved access to organizational data has facilitated creating targets for, and monitoring the progress of, performance improvement initiatives. For example, initiatives to improve patient access to care that were implemented after the dashboard was launched showed a 5% increase in clinic occupancy, a reduction of 1.5% in the no-show rate, and an increase of 6% in visit volumes.
Data analytics can provide valuable insights that improve healthcare operations—and, by extension, patient care—in myriad ways, such as improving access to care, reducing waste, and making optimal use of resources to improve the organization's bottom line.