When we first launched BC PSLS Publications in 2013, we were curious to see how healthcare leaders and staff would use these reports to improve patient safety in their organizations. As we’ve evolved our analytics platform, we’re impressed by those around the province who have taken these tools into their own hands and to the next level, and are now willing to share their expertise with us.
I met with Scott McCarten, Manager of Standards, Process Improvement and Quality for Island Health Laboratory Medicine, for a closer look at the dashboards and reports he’s developed for lab leaders and staff across Island Health, in collaboration with Derek Miller, Information Consultant. Their goal is to make BC PSLS data more transparent and user-friendly for staff on the front line.
“What we found is that the PSLS reports (BC PSLS Publications) were good for a snapshot of how each area was doing, but it was hard to see how things were changing over time,” says Scott. “Lab leaders and staff said they wanted a more informed picture so they could trend quality metrics, plus they wanted to know how they compared to each other.”
For several months, Scott has been sharing customized reports of performance data with lab leaders across Vancouver Island: trending by degree of harm, event type and details, events reported by phase of lab process (pre-analytic, analytic, post-analytic), and critical lab results (processes and communication between clinical units).
Click on the example graphs below for a closer look.
Scott says being able to time-series BC PSLS data over a longer period of time was a big win for them. Now, leaders can see what interventions are working to improve patient safety, and what changes still need to be made. Staff can now review patient safety data for their program, department or unit, over a period of time.
Ultimately, the goal is to drive improvement beyond local settings. Every quarter, Island Health’s lab quality governance council selects a site or modality to focus on and compare to organizational goals. These meetings prompt worthwhile discussion about quality and safety in lab environments and how to improve safety and quality across the region.
“I believe we’re using BC PSLS data the way it was meant to be used. We’re encouraging lab staff to make the best use of this data, to trend how their area is doing, and drive quality improvement across Island Health.”
Next steps are to put up a quality improvement board for frontline staff to see quality and safety measures on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, giving them ownership for how their unit is performing, and the ability to make informed decisions using measurable data.
Our thanks to Scott for sharing his BC PSLS dashboards with us! We’ll follow-up in a few months to learn more.
You can reach Scott by email at Scott.McCarten@viha.ca