A dashboard report provides metrics information and critical information that is central to gauging the performance of an organization. The performance indicators and crucial metrics provided on a dashboard report serve a vital role in any given organization. In the healthcare sector, this information is vital to good practice since the healthcare sector is tightly regulated and subject to comparisons with the external environment to ensure adherence to new standards and regulations. To have a useful, balanced scorecard (BSC), it is mandatory that the appropriate indicators of perspectives and performance are crucial (Behrouzi et al., 2014). A dashboard report shows these indicators. A useful BSC will reveal the areas where an organization is performing according to standard requirements and areas that need improvement. An example of performance improvement tools widely used globally is the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS). HEDIS gives the following as measures in the various domains of care: access of care, the effectiveness of care, the experience of care, information on the health plan, utilization, and parameters collected vis electronic data systems (National Committee for Quality Assurance, n.d.). Thereby, it is apparent that a dashboard report serves a vital role in assessing performance and decision making in healthcare.
In the healthcare setting, an organization's size and resources is a crucial parameter in assessing the performance. Resources include both human resource and others such as availability of premises and equipment. A dashboard will indicate the number of resources available such as the number of operation rooms, family birth rooms, etc. Also, a dashboard report will show the number of healthcare personnel available and their level of education or specialization. In this manner, the dashboard report provides vital information that can help an organization assess its performance and make strategic decisions to improve performance.
Access of care, the effectiveness of care, and experience of care are useful performance improvement tools (National Committee for Quality Assurance, n.d.). A dashboard report provides information that is essential for the determination of an organization's performance regarding these aspects. Information such as the number of medication errors or patient injuries gives an insight into the effectiveness of care provided by a given healthcare institutions. Using these parameters, it is possible to benchmark the performance of a healthcare organization with that of a set standard.
Access to care is a significant concern in the healthcare sector. Several factors determine the accessibility of care to the population. The most important factor is the cost of healthcare services. However, there exist other determinants of access to healthcare such as ethnic disparities. A dashboard reveals the composition of patients and the services rendered by a given healthcare organization thereby giving an insight into ethnic disparities if there are any. To address the issue of cost of care, efforts to increase the accessibility of care such as the Affordable Care Act and Patient CARE act have been made to increase accessibility of care (RAND Corporation, n.d.). In essence, they entail the making of insurance services available to the moderate and low earning individuals. However, the decision on which populations should be given priority is difficult. The question of whether those that have serious illnesses that are expensive to treat or those that require basic but essential services remains (RAND Corporation, n.d.). With a dashboard report, however, it is possible to carry out a value-based analysis to determine the most appropriate decision.
Some measures of quality and patient safety include patient experience, infection prevention, surgical volumes, and core measures (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). Patient experience is reflected from the ratings a hospital receives from both inpatients and outpatients. Surgical volumes have been correlated with higher numbers of positive outcomes, particularly, in the complex procedure (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). Infection prevention is also a useful measure of patient safety since some infections, such as those associated with a central intravascular (IV) line can be prevented. Core measure entails the compliance with the national standards for treatment and care of frequently occurring conditions (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.). An assessment of these parameters will enable benchmarking of an organization with standard practice thereby establish its current performance.
A dashboard report avails all the essential information for benchmarking by an organization. In any organization, benchmarking is essential to ensure adherence to local standards. Benchmarking is not only crucial in making strategic decisions but also in the implementation of organizational objectives (Krause, 2017). Benchmarking ensures that organizational goals and vision are informed and aligned with local standards of performance. With the availability of data and a standard with which comparison can be made, an organization can determine its current performance and status, areas where they can make the greatest impact, and develop a plan to improve organizational performance (Krause, 2017). Therefore, in essence benchmarking makes it possible to utilize data in a dashboard for organizational assessment and betterment.
In summary, a dashboard report is vital in a healthcare organization. It reveals crucial information to determine the current status of an organization regarding performance and adherence to standards. A dashboard report is particularly essential in benchmarking an organization's performance with other organizations and set local standards. Additionally, a dashboard report is essential to developing a BSC. Therefore, the crucial role a dashboard plays in the assessment, decision-making, and implementation of new policies in the healthcare sector is apparent.
Behrouzi, F., Shaharoun, A. M., & Ma'aram, A. (2014). Applications of the balanced scorecard for strategic management and performance measurement in the health sector. Australian Health Review, 38(2), 208-217.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Patient safety and quality. Retrieved from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/patient_safety_quality_dashboard/understanding_performance_metrics/core_measures.html
Krause, J. (2017, July 28). Four questions to ask about healthcare benchmarking. Retrieved from http://www.managedhealthcareexecutive.com/benchmarks/four-questions-ask-about-healthcare-benchmarking
National Committee for Quality Assurance. (n.d.). HEDIS and performance measurement. Retrieved from http://www.ncqa.org/hedis-quality-measurement
RAND Corporation. (n.d.). The future of U.S. health care: Replace or revise the Affordable Care Act? Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/health/key-topics/health-policy/in-depth.html
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