Continuous data collection and analysis have been shown essential to achieving improvement in healthcare. However, the data required for local improvement initiatives are often not readily available from hospital Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems or not routinely collected. Furthermore, improvement teams are often restricted in time and funding thus requiring inexpensive and rapid tools to support their work. Hence, the informatics challenge in healthcare local improvement initiatives consists of providing a mechanism for rapid modelling of the local domain by non-informatics experts, including performance metric definitions, and grounded in established improvement techniques. We investigate the feasibility of a model-driven software approach to address this challenge, whereby an improvement model designed by a team is used to automatically generate required electronic data collection instruments and reporting tools. To that goal, we have designed a generic Improvement Data Model (IDM) to capture the data items and quality measures relevant to the project, and constructed Web Improvement Support in Healthcare (WISH), a prototype tool that takes user-generated IDM models and creates a data schema, data collection web interfaces, and a set of live reports, based on Statistical Process Control (SPC) for use by improvement teams. The software has been successfully used in over 50 improvement projects, with more than 700 users. We present in detail the experiences of one of those initiatives, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease project in Northwest London hospitals. The specific challenges of improvement in healthcare are analysed and the benefits and limitations of the approach are discussed.
Model-driven approach to data collection and reporting for quality improvement
Published Date: 1 Dec 2014