Embracing Data-Driven Dashboards at Seattle Children's Hospital

Patient data at Seattle Children's had always resided in static spreadsheets. Reports were one-dimensional and came out monthly. Things changed 3 years ago when the pediatric hospital adopted Tableau as a platform for data driven development.

Measuring patient access was the latest goal of this effort to find meaningful analytics and then to get those results into the hands of hospital leadership who could act on them.

Children's hospital at Tableau Conference 2014

"Our goal was to produce one report that was able to be viewed by our executives so they could get a high level roll-up perspective on what we were doing around our metric, which was a single metric for the entire organization," said Paula Holmes, Senior Director, Growth Initiatives & Business Operations at Seattle Children's.

The metric chosen by the hospital was the number of days it took for a patient to come in for an appointment. The data analytics had to be detailed enough to reveal the barriers to getting patients into their clinics. So, Holmes and Tim Grieb, Data Scientist at Seattle Children's, developed a Tableau dashboard to identify and monitor improvements toward their hospital goal: 12-day access to outpatient specialty services. "This dashboard was incredibly successful as soon as it went live," Paula said. "It was the highest used dashboard in the operations side of our business."

"People were just crying for this data because we were holding them accountable and because we had built them a tool that really answered their questions and gave them perspective."

By leveraging an agile approach to dashboard development, the Seattle Children's team built a tool that was embraced by hospital staff and leadership. A new access and freedom to explore their data is allowing Seattle Children's to provide the right care at the right time for its young patients.

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