By Michaela Houghton, Systems Development Manager, Caretrack
The original idea which fuelled development of the Caretrack dashboard came from a users’ forum.
There are more than 1,000 users of Caretrack across the NHS and regular user forums have always provided a very important insight into what is working well and what future developments are needed.
Caretrack users told us about the challenge of working with a large volume of data and the different needs of various professionals using the database (administration, finance, clinical, senior management). The system allows for users to produce 66 different reports, together with an ad hoc reporting function, enabling users to generate their own bespoke reports.
But in a time-pressured working environment, users were interested in seeing the data they need in a single glance, available the moment they log in.
Therefore, following discussions in the users’ forum, we took up the challenge of developing a bespoke dashboard for Caretrack.
Working with users, we established the key financial and managerial measures they wanted and developed ‘tiles’ for each. Tiles are simple graphs and key statistics shown in a visual format that can be understood at a glance.
The Caretrack tiles cover key performance indicators encompassing financial information and management/performance information, so users can choose the tiles that are relevant to their roles and responsibilities, personalising their own dashboard.
New tiles will be rolled out on a quarterly basis, responding to requests and feedback from Caretrack users. There is enormous potential to grow the number of tiles because the system we use is highly configurable.
The information in each of the tiles is automatically updated as information is added to the database on a live basis for the majority of tiles (with a minority updated on a daily basis). The tiles are interactive, so users can click on each tile to drill down into a deeper level of information. But the core principle remains: the dashboard provides a full summary of key statistics before the user starts to interact with it.
It is a powerful tool for working processes and challenges. A clinical team leader, for example, can open the dashboard and instantly judge – what does my team need to do today? How should I allocate my staff resources? A manager can immediately see ongoing costs and forecast costs, so fluctuations, improvements and concerns are instantly apparent. It is a proactive management tool; key information and any changes are there for you as soon as you log in, rather than being dependent upon you running reports to see what is happening.
Caretrack is the only continuing healthcare database in the market to offer users a personalised dashboard. We have always been very proud of our customer service, support and responsiveness to Caretrack users’ needs and the dashboard is a testament of this.
It is always really rewarding to start with an idea from a users’ forum and to follow that through all the stages of system development. It is highly configurable: we now have the infrastructure in place to add additional tiles to meet changing and future needs of Caretrack users.
To find out more about Caretrack call Wendy Hawkins on 0121 362 8844. Alternatively, watch the short Caretrack tour.