Scorecards and dashboards
A dashboard is a real-time user interface that shows a snapshot and historical performance indicators of an organization (Chan, Parco, Sihombing, Tredwell & O’Rourke, 2010; Kelly, 2007). The performance indicators displayed by dashboards in a healthcare organization enable managers to make fast and informed decisions that improve the performance of an organization. The following are the uses of dashboards in healthcare facilities:
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- They are used to identify the correct clinical data and data outliers.
- They are used by the management to measure efficiencies and identify areas that need improvements.
- They help in the correlation of strategies with organizational goals.
A scorecard is a strategic management tool that is utilized by managers to monitor the activities of personnel within their control and identify consequences that might arise from these activities (Chan et al., 2010; Kelly, 2007). The following are the four main uses of scorecards within healthcare organizations:
- Identification of actions that could be used to make healthcare facilities excel in their operations.
- Identification of measures that are utilized to make organizations innovative in order to improve patient outcomes.
- Identification of indicators that organizations use to improve customer service.
Impact on organizational goal setting
Dashboards and scorecards are essential measurement systems and measurement methods that are used by healthcare facilities to improve overall performance and financial stability. The systems and methods allow the capture of the right data that help the management to make decisions that aim to improve performance of an organization. The management tools are used to support the efficiency and utilization of healthcare resources, which result in financial stability (Grossmeier, Terry, Cipriotti & Burtaine, 2010; Kelly, 2007).
Indicators associated with the use of scorecards and dashboards are measurable values that demonstrate the level of effectiveness of healthcare processes (Frith, Anderson & Sewell, 2010). They help to identify the processes that are essential in the attainment of the goals set by healthcare institutions. Healthcare indicators are concerned with issues with regard to patient care, administration, and the use of electronic health records, among others. In order for the indicators to be analyzed, healthcare managers might need to understand the various aspects of the healthcare metrics. Marketing indicators in healthcare facilities aid the institutions to attract and retain healthcare consumers. Help desk indicators are used to provide high quality service to people who seek help from customer care.
The indicators are compared against the following external standards: assessment, outcome identification, communication, and evaluation. The information with regard to the dashboard and scorecard metrics has entered the goal setting stage, whereby the organization formulates goals and analyzes them based on the application of the metrics.
Importance of metrics to organizations and nursing practice, and the goals set
The metrics used in the dashboard and scorecard measurements in my healthcare facility have important implications for the organization. First, they are used to measure the importance of the healthcare activities. Second, the metrics are utilized by the organization to establish vital processes that improve patient outcomes. Third, they are essential in the identification of quantifiable outputs of work. Thus, the metrics positively impact nursing practice within healthcare institutions. The goals set by the facility have been met through the application of the dashboard and scorecard metrics. The goals are increased efficiency, improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs, among others.
The use of dashboards and scorecards is associated with some provocative issues. For example, some healthcare workers could react negatively if the management informs them that they are not performing well, yet they feel that they are doing their best. Also, the management could pressurize workers to improve their performance as a result of poor performance trends. In addition, healthcare providers could collectively react against the use of the measurement methods and systems on the grounds that they do not provide accurate performance measurements.
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Chan, G. J., Parco, K. B., Sihombing, M. E., Tredwell, S.P., & O’Rourke, E. J. (2010). Improving health services to displaced persons in Aceh, Indonesia: A balanced scorecard. Bulletin of The World Health Organization, 88(9), 709–712.
Frith, K. H., Anderson, F., & Sewell, J. P. (2010). Assessing and selecting data for a nursing services dashboard. Journal of Nursing Administration, 40(1), 10–16.
Grossmeier, J., Terry, P. E., Cipriotti, A., & Burtaine, J. E. (2010). Best practices in evaluating worksite health promotion programs. American Journal of Health Promotion, 24(3), 1–9.
Kelly, D. L. (2007). Applying quality management in healthcare: a systems approach. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.