Insights into ED strengths and opportunities

There are national standards for how long your journey takes in an emergency department, from the time you arrive to the ED and see a nurse or physician to the time you are either admitted into the hospital or discharged. Before 2017, OSF HealthCare didn’t have insights into standardized data across the organization.

“All of our sites were manually pulling information in different ways on everything from how many individuals visited the ED on a daily basis to how long patients were staying at our hospitals,” said Tammy Crebo, director of Clinical Data for Quality and Safety with OSF HealthCare. “It was a laborious process, and you still couldn’t get an overall look at the performance of the organization as a whole.”

In 2015, the ED Advisory Council for OSF HealthCare partnered with Healthcare Analytics to build a dashboard that could automatically collect these figures and more at every ED across the Ministry. The goal was to have the information needed to improve ED care.

“There’s a saying that you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Leon Yeh, vice president of Service Line Physician Services for OSF HealthCare. “Our ED dashboard has been a key tool for us to have visibility of metrics, and drive performance of our EDs at both the department and provider level,” said Dr. Leon Yeh, vice president of Service Line Physician Services for OSF HealthCare.

What’s in the dashboard?

The ED Dashboard includes more than 50 measurements that leaders at each hospital can use to make decisions that will improve care. This includes a department and provider-level information on patient experience, how long it takes to room a patient and clinical performance.

“Hospital leaders can slice the data in any way they want and compare themselves to not only other facilities within OSF HealthCare but also to in-patient care entities across the U.S.,” said Ricky Hall, data architect with Healthcare Analytics. “There are graphical depictions of trends and performance to make it easier for leaders to visualize.”

The dashboard includes patient-specific information, such as how many flu cases are coming into the ED. This is how leaders know when to set up restrictions on who should and shouldn’t come to the hospital to visit family or friends. There’s also a set of reports on individual members of the care team that are provided to ED medical directors, so they can see how their clinicians are performing and partner with them for ideal outcomes.

“The ED dashboard allows front line leaders to drill down into performance and show improvements,” said Megan Brennan, director of Service Line Administration for OSF HealthCare. “So, if a facility has made changes in processes to make improvements in patient care, we can see, in real-time, whether those modifications are making a positive impact. If it’s not, we can pivot quickly to find the right solution.”

What does this mean for patients?

Now that ED leaders have access to a variety of data, they can get a better understanding of the strengths and opportunities within their facilities and work with their clinicians to improve. That means ensuring patients are seen, treated, admitted or discharged in a timely manner. It means changing processes to improve patient experience. It means understanding how many individuals are in the ED on a daily basis and what their statuses are. And it means finding out how many people end up returning to the ED.

Leaders can also see which OSF sites are performing well, and share best practices from those facilities with others in the Ministry, breaking down silos between hospital EDs. Having a handle on all of this information empowers leaders to make the right decisions, so patients can receive the best care possible.

About Author: Denise Molina-Weiger

Denise Molina-Weiger is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since March 2015. She initially came to OSF to write about the work taking place at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, one of the world’s largest simulation and innovation centers and went on to become the Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Innovation which was developed to help the hospital system lead the way in transforming care.

Before joining the OSF HealthCare team, Denise was a reporter for Peoria Public Radio for ten years, writing on everything from politics, housing and transportation issues to hospital care in the region. She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting from Western Illinois University in 2003 and received her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004.

Denise lives in West Peoria with her husband, son and two crazy dogs. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and watch cooking shows on Netflix. She loves taking road trips with her family and then complaining about it when they are over.

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Categories: Innovation