The Christie NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist cancer center that treats over 44,000 patients a year. It’s the largest single-site cancer center in Europe.
In the past, nurses had a hard time surfacing noncompliance issues. By the time the issue was identified, either the next day or next month, the window of opportunity had already passed.
Today, nurses access data on their nurse assessment dashboards, published on Tableau Server. In video 1, Daniel Tibble, Business Intelligence Manager, explains how nurses track patient assessments in real time, on a ward by ward basis. Active Directory allows the business intelligence team to manage permissions and keep the underlying data safe.
In video 2, Daniel shares how other departments in the hospital create and share dashboards, leading to more data discovery and engagement. As Daniel explains, professionals who “previously saw working with technology as incidental to their role are really engaging with it to be able to deliver better patient care.”
Tableau: Tell us about the Christie and how you’re using Tableau.
Daniel Tibble, Business Intelligence Manager: The Christie is a specialist cancer center. The dashboards in the Christie are created by a combination of my team, the business intelligence team, and there's also users out there who are comfortable using Tableau as a tool, who are able to interrogate the data, make their own findings, and produce dashboards off the back, which we can then surface using Tableau Server.
A lot of our reporting comes from the operational side to make sure that the operation managers and the teams know what's happening on a day-to-day basis in the hospital. We've also got a number of clinically focused dashboards. We've got some dashboards that are focused for nursing assessment care. We're also trying to surface some clinical outcome data within Tableau and working closely with our clinical outcomes team to do that.
Tableau: Have you had any "wow" moments with Tableau?
Daniel: The biggest wow factor so far with Tableau Server has been our nurse assessment dashboards. This has meant that the nurses can track which patients haven't had assessments on a ward by ward basis in real time. By surfacing the data in real time, it means that the nurses can deal with any noncompliance issues before it becomes a problem. Previously, if you're surfacing that the next day or the next month, the period of being able to do the assessments within the six-hour window has already passed.
Tableau: How do you keep sensitive healthcare data safe within those dashboards?
Daniel: We synchronize Tableau Server with Active Directory, which allows us to very quickly manage people's access, not just to Tableau, but also the underlying data sources and our report provisioning software. This dashboard is by far and away our most used site on Tableau Server. We get around 500 hits a month. It's a great example of a role that previously saw working with technology as incidental to their role to really engaging with it to be able to deliver better patient care.
"BI should be decision focused"
Tableau: What’s your own take on self-service BI?
Daniel: I'm a massive advocate of self-service BI. BI should be decision-focused. And decisions are made in real time, they're not made on a schedule, which is how a lot of BI tools deliver their information.
If users can go and get the information at the point they're making the decision, it means that they can become an agile, strategic, decision-making organization. It means they can make the decisions in a more agile manner.
Tableau: Has Tableau helped save time and increase efficiency?
Daniel: So not only has Tableau Server reduced the turnaround time for requests because people can go and get the information themselves, it has also led to more detailed, better questions.
A big benefit of Tableau is that we don't have to have dedicated developer resource. This means that users who know the data and are used to using it can interrogate it themselves and can create their own dashboards, which then can be published.
We also found a really powerful tool for data discovery in workshops. You can, unlike other BI tools, you can sit there with service managers and operational leads and people who really know the data they work in through the hospital and look at the data and discover trends, efficiencies, and any potential improvements that can be made.
Tableau: Has Tableau given you new insights into your data sources?
Daniel: A great benefit of Tableau is it allows you to interrogate data sources before you build the underlying data structure. We've learned a lot about our data warehouse data structure by interrogating the source data first in Tableau, which when you're trying to build a data warehouse using agile methodologies is a really important tool.