Analytics Help Connect Productivity to Care!

Tom Zimmerman

Effective analytics are a key enabler for system-wide imaging workflow efficiency. Many organizations benefit from the transparency a real-time dashboard brings to their operations. This is the actualization of data already being generated and captured by various departmental tools and applications. By systemically comparing data to pre-established operational thresholds, staff alerts and response can help to mitigate or dissipate bottlenecks and delays. This transparency helps improve departmental productivity that can also lead to improved patient satisfaction.

There are 3 key components to a strong Analytics foundation:

  1. Organization goals defining the collection and use of data to help insights and changes.
    Teams need to “set the bar” for key indicators such as wait times, turnaround times and close ratios. These often exist in organizational goals, but may require detailed specificity to become actionable. Analytics and iterative improvement cycles may then “raise the bar,” going forward.
  2. Technology adoption.
    There need to be software tools in place to aggregate data from multiple sources and visualize it in ways that enable action. Third party solutions will support data mapping and configurations based on key performance indicators.
  3. Response and resource assignments.
    Once insights and alerts become available, decision making follows. This may already be defined within existing operational duties. Or it may foster additional internal discussions. This is where transparency and commitment to improved outcomes will ideally prevail.

Dashboards vs. “Reports”

Report generation often implies retrospective data collection and analysis. Real time dashboards are a more actionable way to observe and react.

For example:

  1. Potentially help to reduce the time to diagnose by providing a real-time view of emerging delays – e.g. patient wait time, by identifying bottleneck points to enable pro-active intervention.
  2. Help identify where the bottlenecks lie in inter-departmental workflow with the ability to aggregate operational data from multiple information sources e.g., RIS, PACS, Laboratory information system, Scanners and build operational related metrics.
  3. Help to visualize enterprise-wide performance e.g., times of the day and days of the week when Radiology is busiest, based on report turnaround times and patient wait times by specialty
  4. Potentially help to more effectively apply organizational resources otherwise used in response to unforeseen delays. This includes the redirect of resources used to research and create retrospective report analysis.

In closing, information often already exists to solve challenges such as wait time, asset utilization and departmental bottlenecks. Effective analytics help to actualize insights from this data by providing tools to aggregate and visualize data. Analytics technology adoption is just one piece of the puzzle. An organization’s change management and leadership engagement are critical to the successful realization of benefits from data insights. Ideally, these insight can be applied to help enable radiology operations together with enhanced patient care and satisfaction.

Please let me know your own experiences and insights. I’ll write more on this in the future.

Be encouraged in all you do!   Tom Z



Any descriptions of future functionality reflect current product direction, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a commitment to provide specific functionality. Timing and availability are subject to change and applicable regulatory approvals.

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