Caring About—and with—Numbers

By Michelle Wallace 2014/09/22

“The benefit of presenting data visually—as opposed to just tables and numbers—is quite profound.” Tom Dewar is the Head of Information at St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. He’s also passionate about using data visualization to educate, empower, and improve patient care.

Healthcare organizations have no shortage of data these days. But with so much information comes the potential for confusion. Tom uses Tableau to visualize all kinds of information—from bed occupancy to patient feedback—and separate the signal from the noise. “One of my favorite things about Tableau is when I get to bust an anecdotally-held truth or disperse a myth.” Hear more from Tom here.

How are other healthcare leaders innovating with data? Here are a few we recently spoke with:

  • Piedmont Healthcare has taken the self-service model to heart, enabling hundreds of users to spot opportunities across its service lines. By making the entire organization more data-driven, Piedmont has reallocated hundreds of thousands of dollars while also measuring several improvements in patient outcomes. To hear the full story, click here.
  • Swedish Medical Center wanted to simplify and streamline a large number of data sources. "We had probably 2000+ reports across the organization, but we still didn’t have a way to answer the simple questions," says David Delafield, CFO of Swedish Medical Group. Swedish used Tableau to build a reporting platform that empowers technical and non-technical people alike. Here's the full story.
  • Advocate Healthcare has also harnessed data visualization to empower staff and improve patient safety and care. The 12-hospital system worked with Tableau partner Slalom Consulting to develop dashboards around computerized provider order entry (CPOE) compliance. Says Emily Borlik of Slalom, this helped to "enable clinical informaticists to make positive change within their organization." Watch the full story here.

Today's healthcare leaders are using data to educate, inspire, and focus on what truly matters in the business. We love being able to meet so many of them—and invite you to check out the highlights of these interviews.

Photo credit: "Monthly check up" by Bryan Mason (cropped); Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.


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