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Johns Hopkins Pediatric

Clinical Information Gets a Makeover

clinical information gets a makeover

July 19, 2018

A new data analytics tool is helping Johns Hopkins clinicians provide better care by turning masses of information into easy-to-read charts that show where improvements are needed.

Johns Hopkins Medicine acquired an enterprise license for the tool, called Tableau, last year, making it available to employees who need access to the information. Employees receive emails explaining how to use the system.

After logging into, clinicians and administrators can quickly view charts and graphs of inpatient and ambulatory metrics such as hand hygiene and patient experience scores, says Jennifer Bailey, senior director of quality, safety and service analytics at the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and vice president of quality and transformation in the Office of John Hopkins Physicians.

By clicking on a few filters, users can see and compare results for member organizations, as well as specific departments, divisions, sites or practitioners. For example, Bailey says, an office manager at an ambulatory practice can see what percentage of women get timely mammograms throughout all of Johns Hopkins Medicine, as well as at specific sites and with individual providers.  

That information leads to improvements, Bailey says, by fostering healthy competition and showing where performance is lagging. Tableau also lists which patients are noncompliant with the mammogram screenings, so those patients can be contacted.

Before Tableau, departments compiled data, often on Excel sheets, but the information was difficult to read and challenging to use for comparisons, Bailey says. “We had a lot of dashboards in different places,” she says.

Tableau was chosen by the Data Trust Council, a group that creates technical guidance and policies for patient and health system data across Johns Hopkins Medicine. In addition to Bailey’s quality, safety and service analytics team, the Data Trust Council includes groups that represent population health, research, finance, operations and other areas. Each team determines the appropriate audience for the data—when users sign in to Tableau, they see information that is relevant to their role, Bailey explains.

Now that Tableau is up and running, the analytics teams are prioritizing requests. Recently, dashboards were added to show opioid prescribing rates, and how often restraints are used. Tableau can also let users automatically generate and email reports to keep members of a team regularly updated.

“We want people to know we have data that is easy to view, easy to customize and easy to use,” Bailey says. “You can easily filter and slice a large amount of data for different views. It’s much more functional than what we had before.”

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