Penn State Hershey Medical Center was looking for a way to improve its quality improvement efforts with more efficient quality indicator review. Because the measures are reviewed retrospectively, clinicians were missing the opportunity to improve care as it’s provided.
The organization developed a quality indicators (QI) dashboard to turn data into actionable information, says Darla Marks, MSN, RN, manager of nursing informatics. An interdisciplinary team of clinicians collaborated with nursing informatics and IT resources to create clinical decision support tools to provide real-time information about quality indicators.
The QI dashboard was deployed hospital-wide in March 2013 and since then, Penn State Hershey has improved numerous quality measures including infection rates, use of restraints, vaccines and falls. The dashboard within the EMR provides immediate, actionable information for use during provider and nurse rounds, hand-off communications and nurse-to-nurse communications. The dashboard provides a “quick view” of the quality indicators and allows charting directly from the dashboard. Links from key indicators allow staff access to orders and documentation improving the efficiency of identifying missing elements related to each indicator.
The neuroscience critical care unit reduced catheter device utilization by 21 percent and the catheter-acquired urinary tract infection rate decreased by 86 percent, says Marks. The hospital also has saved money by avoiding penalties related to compliance measures and decreasing extended hospital stays due to hospital-acquired infections.
The QI dashboard has strengthened day-to-day operations of the clinical workflow, improving hospital efficiency by taking less time to find the quality indicators within the EMR and has brought more value to how and what kind of data/information is being documented, she adds.
Mike Ward, BSBA, lead analyst, develop the dashboard which includes color, icons and links. The charge nurses started to use it first and “once they saw the value, use of the tool skyrocketed to all staff,” says Marks.
The tool is constantly being enhanced by recommendations from the unit level quality teams, he says. The organization is now working on a similar tool for outpatient and disease management. Matt Loser, BBA, also worked on the tool.