With ED overhauls on the horizon, MHCH enlisted the help of Philips Blue Jay Consulting to jumpstart the efforts. Philips was asked to help improve ED front-end operations and patient throughput as well as create a culture of accountability for ED staff. To kick off the collaboration, the team started by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the ED which included a comprehensive data analytics review, numerous on-site observations, and staff and leadership interviews. The assessment revealed a number of inefficiencies and education gaps which negatively impacted the department’s overall operations.
To ensure the process changes in development would be able to fully support these necessary improvements, a Philips TransformAnalytics Performance Dashboard was recommended to serve as an essential component in highlighting performance issues, monitoring the impact of changes made and helping MHCH achieve its operational goals.
With these goals in mind, MHCH and Philips began a 13-week performance improvement engagement focused on the identification and implementation of new processes for the ED and its staff. The program focus included the following:
- Revision of triage processes
- Implementation of split-flow processes
- Establishment of new patient experience standards
- Enhanced charge nurse role
- Revised performance expectations
- Implementation of novice nurse training
These change initiatives would be consistently monitored via the performance metrics built into the new ED dashboard. Through the use of the dashboard, the Philips consultants were able to drill down on the root causes of throughput issues, analyzing factors by the month, day – even by the hour – as well as by the physician and by patient demographics. As the process changes were implemented, the dashboard metrics were used to measure impact and delineate which new processes were most successful and which processes needed additional change to reach the highest potential.
Education and training
Philips provided dashboard training to MHCH’s active users, to demonstrate how they are able to drill-down to the root-causes of performance issues, as well as maintenance support and ongoing consulting guidance. The dashboard is updated from MHCH’s system data daily via automatic uploads from multiple sources to maintain ongoing transparency of the department’s performance and help reliably sustain improvements.
The impact of the TransformAnalytics Performance Dashboard was not limited exclusively to the analytics and performance improvement teams. The dashboard also sent performance snapshots via automated daily emails to stakeholders including MHCH’s hospital C-suite, medical directors, and nursing leadership within the ED. The emails provide the most relevant information to each person, based on their role. This level of visibility ensured all key stakeholders had direct access to the performance trends so they would have the information they needed in a single dashboard view.
Philips consultants also recommended education initiatives including educating staff on the 5-level Emergency Severity Index (ESI) triage system including inter-rater reliability, ED patient experience standards, and a customized novice nurse curriculum. The education programs were well-received by staff and leadership alike.