Every day one in 25 patients will suffer from at least one healthcare-associated infection, or HAI, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While common, HAIs are a highly preventable threat to patient safety.
Tucson Medical Center (TMC), the largest acute-care hospital in its region, was well aware of HAI occurrences but needed a new approach to obtain the information the organization needed to reduce HAIs.
Standard procedure for keeping internal records on HAIs at TMC initially meant four staff members working through the previous month’s data, organizing it into multiple spreadsheets and updating 29 or more standard reports – totaling at least 144 hours of combined work.
“It was difficult to get timely infection information,” said Nina Mazzola, director of the infection prevention initiative at TMC. “It was hard to get a total view of how we were doing and difficult to visually communicate trends over time.”
In paving the way for a better approach to compiling this data, the organization looked to their business intelligence (BI) team, working closely with the infection prevention teams and bringing fresh eyes to the mass amounts of data.
At first, the BI team thought the process was as simple as infections in, reports out. They soon realized that wasn’t the case, and it would take a lot of “peeling back the onion” to find the bottlenecks and pressure points within the reporting system.
Breaking down the complex project into smaller parts proved to be an effective approach in tackling the mass amounts of information. After tackling the many layers of the reports, next was the development of a plan to create a dashboard that could provide actionable, real-time information on HAIs.
The dashboard was developed, validated and implemented over the course of two months. Since the dashboard’s implementation, any staff member can immediately access real-time information about HAIs. The dashboard’s capabilities include the reporting of “hot spots,” which help to identify any links in infection outbreak and helps staff members get to the root of the problem in a far more efficient manner than ever before.
Today, this dashboard averages at least 200 sessions per month among TMC’s unit managers and clinicians and is among the most commonly used analytics tool within the health system currently.
HIMSS Analytics is proud to recognize TMC for its revalidation as a Stage 7 healthcare system, as tracked by the EMRAM.
“Data is critical to help drive clinical process improvement. But, that data has to be accurate, complete, consistent and timely, and that isn’t an easy thing to accomplish,” explained Frank Marini, senior vice president and chief information officer of TMC. “As is usually the case, the ‘fix’ isn’t simply a better tool or some new technology. Sure, we did implement some impressive new BI tools, but the real solution involved stepping back and understanding the culture, practices and the real clinical need."
“In the end, we were able to deliver a way for clinical operations to see with surprising clarity what was happening on their units,” Marini continued. “This project is a wonderful example of committed and talented professionals – clinical and IT – working together to address our most important objective – keeping our patients safe.”
“Tucson Medical Center continues to optimize its electronic medical records well beyond its original Stage 7 achievements,” said John H. Daniels, global vice president, healthcare advisory services group, HIMSS Analytics. “The hospital demonstrated it is still among the top six percent of hospitals in the country committed to making the best use of IT to drive quality, safety and operational efficiencies.”
Visit the HIMSS Analytics website for more information on the healthcare provider maturity models and Stage 7 award.
TMC, licensed at more than 600 beds, has been Tucson’s locally governed nonprofit regional hospital for more than 70 years. TMC is Southern Arizona’s leading provider for emergency care and pediatric care, with top-notch intensive care units for adults, children and newborns. Other specialty areas include women’s, maternity, cardiac care, orthopedic, neuroscience, hospice, surgical, vascular and geropsychiatric care. TMC first achieved HIMSS Stage 7 in June 2011.
HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare technology market intelligence, research and standards organization assisting clientele in both healthcare delivery and healthcare technology solutions business development to make lasting improvements in efficiency and performance.
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