Getting the Most From Data with Standardized Regional Reporting

June 7, 2017 Samantha Relich

Toronto is the city that RL calls home. And for many of us, the pinnacle of overcoming obstacles is that we are now, somewhat miraculously, no longer the worst sports city in North America. 

But at this years' RL Palooza, our neighbours from Atlantic Canada challenged us to think of an even more daunting challenge: How do you bring multiple healthcare entities, each with their own approach and practice to reporting, into one, standardized provincial system? 

That was the topic that Cathy Smith, Provincial Administrator for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, and Gary Hall, Project Manager and Consultant from IMP Solutions, tackled in their presentation: One Province, One System, RL6 for Safety Improvement in Nova Scotia. 

In 2014, the province of Nova Scotia embarked on a 31-month journey to move the numerous healthcare entities in the province to one, standardized reporting system on RL6. That meant implementing and educating over 45 facilities, across numerous unique health entities (including the 9 district health authorities at the time, the province's children's hospital and the central health organizations). Each of these entities was using its' own reporting system; including various software and paper methords. 

The decision to standardized was driven by a key need: the desire to leverage data to improve healthcare in the province. 

"Previously, it was almost impossible to pull together and roll-out provincial data," says Smith. 

During their journey to standardization, Hall and Smith learned a lot. Some of their key takeaways included: 

  • Sometimes you have to find a middle ground. When it came to whether to include anonymous reporting or to only have confidential reporting, there was a divide in opinion between some of the healthcare organizations. Some had been promoting 100% confidential reporting for years; others had campaigns around the value of anonymous reporting. Ultimately, a decision was made to have both options - because while standardization was the ultimate goal, it's important to understand that each organization has an individual identity. 
  • Marketing matters. Building up excitement and awareness around change can make a significant difference when it comes to onboarding staff. The team in Nova Scotia used a series of posters to announce the upcoming change and get people excited (and knowledgable) about why it was happening. 
  • Keep training materials in-context. "People love to look at information that is contextualized and relevant to what they're doing," says Hall. Creating education materials specific to location, demographic or context can make a significant difference in engaging staff. 

The staggered roll-out of the new standardized system was completed earlier this year. While a year's worth of data has not yet been gathered for all of the sites, so far there have been over 50,000 file submissions in the new Risk system. 

One of the best parts according to Hall? "We can discuss how to make improvements because everyone across the province is working with consistent information." 

Want to learn more about how to roll-out successful system-wide change? Watch our on-demand webinar about how Brigham & Women's Faulkner Hospital leveraged reporting data to drive patient safety improvements during their Epic implementation. 

 

 

About the Author

Samantha is part of the marketing team at RL and is passionate about sharing healthcare stories. When she's not typing away, you can find her as far from the city as possible with a book and a kayak.

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