Posted By Monique Dever On October 29, 2014
A “Dashboard” provides users a quick view of overall performance of a system. For example, we are all used to a car dashboard which provides a quick view of performance of a car and its sophisticated engine. Car dashboards provide driver performance information (e.g. speed), indicators (e.g. remaining fuel, engine temperature) and warning alerts (engine light). So what would a dashboard look like for local health departments?
Working closely with UNC Institute of Public Health, and Stokes and Richmond County Health Departments, we identified five key requirements for a local health department dashboard:
- Quick View: At a quick glance provide overall performance of the local health department. Dashboard needs to be simple, easy to view graphs with built in trends and alerts.
- Financial: Health Directors wish to know how the department is doing financially. For example, they wish to know monthly (or annual) $ billing, Collections, Payer mix (e.g. Medicaid, self-pay etc.) and service mix (child health, family planning, communicable disease etc.). To gauge performance, they wish to compare current month or year financials to prior month or year.
- Clinical: Director of Nursing or Clinicians wish to know how they are in compliance with 15 meaningful use core measures. Additionally, they wish to know community health performance (e.g. % of patients with diabetes, diabetes patients by age, BMI of the population etc.). The clinicians also wish to know the trend (quarter over quarter) to know if the population is getting better or not.
- Improvement: Quality Improvement folks wish to know certain metrics to provide better care as well as improve organization efficiency. They wish to know (appointment) no-show rates and patient wait times as they move through the clinic for various programs.
- Easily Accessible: Information needs to be easily accessible anywhere, any time and on any device (including computer, laptop, tablet and smart phones).
A local health department specific Management Dashboard App, meeting all the above key requirements, has been built. The local health department’s dashboard summarizes key performance indicators, in color-coded summaries – without having to manually collect data from multiple sources.
Scott Lenhart, Health Director for Stokes County Public Health Department, and a key contributor to the app’s development, uses data to (among other things) “watch trends and comparisons between his department and others similar to Stokes County”.
For more on the Management Dashboard App read the expert interview with John Graham and the case study Building a Management Dashboard App for Local Health Departments.