Dashboards Help Nurses Respond to Quality Data

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media , November 10, 2009

The units try to not focus on too many issues at once. "We don't want to drown in data," notes Thompson. "We want it to be meaningful and focused and move the nursing unit and the organization in the direction of our strategic values."

If a unit's indicator had been green and turns to red or the team notices a drop-off in performance, staff members immediately initiate a rapid cycle action plan, which generally involves developing a 90-day goal of focusing on the issue and raising performance for the goal.

The team will brainstorm how to improve performance and will look to nursing literature and research to find best practices about how to reach the goals.

Thompson says the dashboards are an extremely effective tool for the organization. "It just kind of gets everyone pulling in the same direction," she says. Ultimately, the dashboards are also a matter of pride for each unit, which uses the dashboards to measure their performance.

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Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at rhendren@hcpro.com.

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