Using Healthcare Dashboards to Highlight Clinical, Financial and Operational Performance

Nineteen terabytes. It’s a number that’s a little hard to understand, but it’s the amount of clinical data generated each year by the healthcare industry. Of all the data across the globe, approximately 30 percent comes from healthcare.

Still confused as to what constitutes a terabyte? It consists of one trillion bytes. With a single terabyte of data, you can view about 400 hours of high-definition video streaming. It’s estimated that 85,899,345 pages of Word documents would fill one terabyte.

Putting Healthcare Dashboards to Work

What’s the healthcare industry doing with all this data? Isn’t there too much to even analyze?

This is where dashboards come in. By utilizing analytics templates, they provide healthcare practices and other businesses with graphical representations of strategic data to procure actionable insights. In turn, they’re able to more easily assess their overall clinical, financial and operational status.

Just how are dashboards used in healthcare, though? In a variety of ways. For example, some healthcare practices employ them to:

  • Identify areas for improved quality of care
  • Track revenue cycle performance
  • Compare their performance with pre-determined benchmarks and standards
  • Address disjointed workflows and data bottlenecks
  • Integrate with electronic workflow management solutions
  • Monitor disparate processes for more efficiency
  • Easily access key performance indicators (KPIs)

Three of the most common types of dashboards in healthcare are clinical, quality and executive. Clinical dashboards provide feedback to individual clinicians on their performance compared to standards or targets with the aim of informing decisions about, and thereby improving, patient care. Quality dashboards, on the other hand, show performance at the organizational level to inform operational decision-making and quality improvement efforts. An executive dashboard displays the KPIs practice administrators need to help them manage their operations more profitably.

Mobile dashboards provide even more benefits for healthcare practices. They offer real-time access to actionable, accurate and accessible data and offer an intuitive and customizable method for clinicians to access necessary information anytime at any place. The result is improved patient care.

Common KPIs for Healthcare Practices

Those key performance indicators (KPIs) we mentioned earlier in this piece? Utilized by healthcare provider organizations of all sizes, they allow them to gauge the progress of their strategic goals and help highlight and compare key quality improvement and value metrics.

Another use of KPIs for healthcare practices is identifying and eliminating root causes for poor performance and making proactive decisions accordingly. Used properly, they have the potential to boost staff productivity and increase patient satisfaction. To be effective, KPIs should be specific, achievable, measurable, actionable and relevant.

The type of KPIs a healthcare practice implements depends on its unique goals, needs and objectives. For example, a practice dealing with consistent missed appointments might track patient no-shows and cancellations. Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150 billion annually. For a single-doctor practice, they cost an average of $150,000 per year.

Other oft-utilized healthcare practice KPIs include:

Patient Wait Time

Patient wait time markedly affects patient satisfaction, and prolonged waits can even produce unnecessary costs. Healthcare practices that track patient wait times via their dashboard can monitor wait times at various flow points in an appointment to make decisions regarding staffing, equipment and check-in processes. They also can identify bottlenecks and make improvements — without interrupting patient flow.

Patient Satisfaction

Patient Satisfaction KPIs provide healthcare practices with a better understanding of the patient experience and help them identify the most effective ways to increase patient satisfaction. They show the performance of activities that directly — or indirectly — impact patient satisfaction and help healthcare organizations determine which investments in improving the patient experience can best help them meet their goals and objectives.

Revenue Cycle

Streamlining and automating revenue cycle functions allows practices to standardize payment processing, reconciliation and denials management functions, all while improving revenue capture by identifying bottlenecks, minimizing audit risk and offering comprehensive reporting capabilities. Revenue Cycle KPIs provide a real-time snapshot of a practice’s revenue cycle performance and reduce costs from payment posting and denials management. They offer complete revenue cycle processing to increase cash flow, reduce bad debt and enhance staff productivity.

Claims Management

By automating the management of claims from inception to resolution while incorporating best practices, this KPI enables healthcare practices to keep cash flow consistent while providing them with more thorough insight into their financial performance.

Incident Reporting and Risk Management

This KPI records incidents, both potential and actual, analyzes them while calculating incident safety metrics, produces regulatory reports and provides automatic notifications to key staff members. It lets healthcare practices identify incident trends and help prevent recurrences. On the risk management side, it streamlines the risk analysis and assessment processes while offering real-time and proactive transparency into risk intelligence.

Referrals and Authorization

This module utilizes secure messaging for the electronic, rules-based routing of referrals and authorizations, thereby reducing turnaround times and time-consuming follow-up calls while improving provider and patient satisfaction.

Other KPIs utilized by healthcare practices include:

  • Percentage of claims denied
  • Net days in account receivable (A/R)
  • Cash collection as a percentage of net patient services revenue
  • Denials by procedure code
  • Accuracy of department charge capture
  • Late charges as percentage of total charges
  • Cost to collect
  • Insurance A/R over 90 days
  • Percent of A/R greater than 90 days
  • Preregistration, insurance verification and service authorization rates

Essential Dashboard Components

When healthcare dashboards and the corresponding KPIs are used correctly, they gather real-time data and consolidate it in a meaningful manner so it’s clear and consistent. That way, they can identify and quantify issues before they become critical. When selecting a dashboard for your healthcare practice, we recommend opting for a solution that’s easy to use, customizable and can be adapted to include the monitoring of specific time-limited priorities.

Administrators and doctors should be able to view and manage data at a glance 24/7. Some are used by employees across the care continuum, from clinicians to support staff. A well-built dashboard might even help these employees accelerate the speed and quality of their decision-making and provide practice leadership with a framework for managing productivity initiatives and incentive programs.

Especially important in maintaining compliance with HIPAA regulations, dashboards should include security measures and convey patient information without wrongly distributing protected health information (PHI). Otherwise, healthcare practices risk costly fines and fees, a damaged reputation and dissatisfied patients.


At SpringParker, we offer collaborative approaches customized to the needs of each client.  We will help you evaluate and improve practice monitoring and reporting, including guiding you through developing and implementing solutions and processes that will increase the performance of your business.  Contact us to learn more!