A nurse came to me asking for a way to view all of the current admissions, transfers between nursing units, and discharges of patients in one view to assist her team with patient throughput. The current process required looking in many places in the electronic health system for this information and documenting it on paper throughout the day. To gain a better understanding of the process, I walked a mile in her shoes for a few hours. This really opened my eyes to the possibilities.
The business challenge was to design a dashboard that could refresh every five minutes with the latest census data showing only the current (open) orders related to admissions, transfers and discharges. In order to display this information properly, I needed to gain an understanding of the placement and completion of the orders for these transactions to extract the data properly. Fortunately, the ordering and communication process was designed in a way that matched sets of orders making it easier to display current information. As an example, if the order was placed to admit a patient, it would stay as an open admit until a communication order was submitted to move the patient to the nursing unit. Once the two orders were paired together, the open admit would no longer display on the dashboard.
This link Nurse Bed Management Dashboard is an example of the dashboard with fake data for demonstration purposes only. The nurse can click on any of the bars for a listing of the patients with prevalent information. The icons also have links so they can monitor wait times for admissions, discharges and transfers helping to facilitate patient throughput.
Through the testing of the dashboard, we noticed human error for placing orders impacts the results. With continued education, we are seeing improved performance. The nursing team is using this dashboard on a regular basis to assist them with placing patients throughout the day.