Do You Measure Up? How to Use Denominators in RL6

February 26, 2016 Heidi Chodorowicz

What's a denominator?
Denominators are used to establish a base-rate for a more accurate comparison between a set of values. Once you have a common base-rate, you can figure out whether your interventions are working. In RL6, denominators help to generate standard rates or percentages when creating reports.

Moreover, they add context to the data being presented in reports so you can make valid comparisons between the data. Then you can use those reports to make better decisions about your organization's quality or patient experience programs. 

How can I use denominators in RL6?
There are so many reports that you can apply denominators to! Some include:

  • Patient Days: Patient days are (inpatient, outpatient or visitor data) normally collected by hospital finance departments by counting the number of patients at the same time each day for the month. They are used as a reference to hospital volumes/sizes.

  • Total Events: You can obtain this rate for total falls, total ADR/medication events, etc. within RL6 from a chart or list report. Set the parameters such that it takes a count of total files grouped by General Event Type (excluding incomplete or deleted files), and have the system count the Grand Total. You can also add a date range of “last month” for Event Date and add it to a monthly schedule.

  • Total Medications Dispensed: Obtained from pharmacy managers or finance for inpatient or outpatient medications dispensed. This can be applied to calculate total ADR and med/fluid events based on the total medications dispensed.

  • Total Employees: The rate tracks full-time equivalents (FTEs) or part-time staff and is collected by the HR department or finance. This can be another indicator of organization’s size.

  • Total Hours Worked: This employee info on nurses, department managers, risk managers, etc. is typically collected by HR or finance. It's helpful for determining a correlation between the number of employee events and hours worked, for example.

  • Total Money Spent: This data is obtained from Finance and you can use it to compare total events over total money spent on a patient safety initiative.

I'm ready to start! What's next?
First, make sure you're using version 6.5.3 and higher of RL6. If you're on an older version of RL6, please contact RL about updating your system.

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