August 1, 2013 - A Sharper Focus
Health Data Management
Jeff Robbins, President & CEO, LiveData interviewed for this article.
A starting point
In many surgical suites, metrics such as time stamps for certain processes, reminders such as re-dosing antibiotics, estimates of blood loss and equipment tracking are written manually on whiteboards after being pulled from the perioperative system. Staff monitor vital signs through the anesthesia system displayed on a monitor.
Except for vital signs, most of the information is not real-time and may not be accurate because of errors between pulling the data and writing it down.
Many software vendors in recent years have introduced dashboard technology that pulls data from the surgical information system and monitors, organizes and displays the information on a screen. Jeff Robbins, CEO at dashboard vendor LiveData Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., says the dashboards can provide dynamic reports of key performance indicators that can be refreshed during the course of treatment, and can later generate reports to show how a surgical unit performed during the past week or month. Dashboards also can help with adopting analytics, and some include basic analysis capabilities.
Dashboards also can integrate safety into workflow, such as automating a safe surgery checklist, an automated time-out to verify that the staff is operating on the correct patient, correct body part, using the proper procedure before an operation begins. Integrating dashboards with real-time location systems technology (see sidebar, next page) can enable administrators to use the physical location of patients and caregivers as objective data when trying to understand bottlenecks.