The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust is implementing Intuitive Dashboards, a business intelligence (BI) dashboard, in order to give staff a clearer view of each patient’s progress through their stay in hospital.
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Michael Brown, deputy director of Performance and Informatics at the hospital said the main benefit of the software was in moving from a static to a real-time reporting capability. It has been in use for “about a month”, and is proving its value in real-time tracking of “emergency flow” from patient admission to discharge.
“We wanted to be able to deliver real-time information to users at their fingertips." he said. Operational managers, doctors and nurses can now see, as an example, how long accident and emergency patients have been waiting, and that should be no more than four hours.
In a press statement, Intuitive Dashboards said the trust will gain fast, real-time, graphical access to an array of operational data. Brown, pictured, said that the hospital chose it ahead of Microsoft reporting and QlikTech, and described it as an early adopter in the NHS. He confirmed the cost as £30,000, including training, consultancy and support.
The dashboard technology is being used to give ward statistics to the divisional units and ward managers. It will also support the trust’s cost savings efforts under its “business sustainability programme”, said Brown. The trust’s BI team is working on dashboards relating to contract monitoring waiting lists and outpatients. Brown also confirmed plans to extend the software’s use to theatres.
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One key aim for the use of the dashboards is to cut down on the number of delayed discharges, he said. About one-third of the hospital’s 500 beds are occupied, at any one time, by patients who may not require acute care, said Brown.
With appropriate levels of controlled access, use could be extended to health workers and social services professionals in the community, he said.
In the press statement Brown said: “Performance management is at the heart of everything we do. We needed an effective way to view and analyse the key factors driving our performance against operational and government-based targets. We can quickly highlight issues before they have a negative impact. Combined with the ability to drill down to the root cause of potential shortfalls, we can now take decisive action immediately.”
The dashboards implementation is part of an information management roadmap that also includes refreshing the patient administration system and the wireless enablement of the entire hospital. At present, 25-30% of the hospital is wireless enabled, said Brown. Complete coverage will enable greater use of tablets. The dashboards are currently being delivered to desktops and laptops.