Mindful Metrics

A KPI for mending broken hearts

A KPI for mending broken hearts

This past Friday was an anxious day - it would be for any parent - our three year old daughter was scheduled for an adenoid-tonsillectomy - a good thing, trust me. I'll cut that part of my story short, because it was wonderfully uneventful and a success.


However, taped on a wall outside of her recovery room, were a dozen printouts containing charts, numbers and indicators. They looked like key performance indicators and of-course, they caught my eye. Hospital KPIs are of particular interest currently because we're working with one of Canada's largest health care providers, helping them expose, and track operational metrics in various emergency departments.

These key performance indicators were a little less exciting, but did have all the right tactical measurements and components to be valuable. The majority of these print-outs were displaying on-time surgery starts. In other words, how many surgeries had started on time yesterday, for the past 30 days and YTD. The metrics were sliced by type of surgery, and compared actual values against historical averages, industry benchmarks and of course their target metric. 

Quite commendable really ... but why kill all those trees? Also, this means someone has to gather the information, update the spreadsheet, print out multiple copies, then walk around the hospital taping the updated KPIs to the wall outside each recovery room.

Just think of all the time that could be saved, and the additional impact if this information was presented using a business dashboard on a large flat screen monitor to display to the the latest KPIs, or by making the information available to consultants and medical staff via their mobile device?

What are your thoughts? What are the best hospitals doing to measure their performance and more importantly expose these organizational KPIs to their staff?


PS: Cardiology ranked in the middle of the pack ... late about 30% of the time. Ah, the broken hearts.

Happy Valentines Day!