Advocate Health Care Improves Patient Safety and Care

Advocate Health Care delivered insights through data visualization. The empowered hospital staff obtained easy access to pared-down information, making the necessary process and policy changes to improve patient care.

Advocate Health Care, one of the nation’s top ten health systems, was experiencing lower than expected physician compliance with their Electronic Medical Records. Delivering insights through data visualization empowered the hospital staff to obtain easy access to pared-down information, making the necessary process and policy changes to improve patient care.

Increasing compliance, improving care

Advocate Health Care is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the top ten largest healthcare systems in the country. In the healthcare system, whenever a provider initiates care for a patient—such as an X-ray, lab test, or prescription—an order is placed. After decades of providers scribbling down care orders by hand, many healthcare systems have made the shift to computerized provider order entry (CPOE), which has proven to eliminate errors, standardize care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.

To provide the best patient care and exceed regulatory standards, Advocate needed to maximize its investment in its Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Doing so meant increasing CPOE compliance to better than 80% and eliminating order entry errors entirely. After a concentrated effort on user adoption resulted in little change, Advocate enlisted Slalom’s Information Management and Analytics expertise to conduct a data deep-dive and develop a strategy for CPOE compliance improvement.

Data visualization leads to eye-opening results

Together, Slalom and Advocate decided to focus the initial analysis on just one of Advocate’s 12 hospitals. Slalom started by pulling millions of rows of raw data and visualizing it in Tableau. Immediately, the Advocate Clinical Informaticists were able to recognize trends—with unexpected results. Our deep data analysis revealed that existing processes had been negatively impacting Advocate’s compliance.

Our analytics team delivered a self-service BI tool that enabled “order data” visualization and empowered staff at each hospital to find, investigate, and correct processes that were impacting compliance and safety at their locations. We integrated a complex data set into Microsoft SQL Server; designed and developed interactive, user-friendly visual dashboards using Tableau software; and emphasized user adoption through site-by-site, hands-on educational workshops. The tool was rolled out to eight of Advocate’s hospitals.

The Tableau solution gave Advocate’s Clinical Informaticists the ability to interact with their data as never before. Many expressed that this view was a real eye-opener, arming them with the insights they needed to actually make a measurable difference to CPOE compliance. They can now look at data at a high level; identify potential problem areas; and isolate the root cause of issues. Delivering insights through Tableau data visualization empowered the hospital staff with easy access to pared-down information, enabling decision makers to make the necessary process and policy changes to ultimately improve patient care.