Data visualization and dashboards

A wise colleague of mine once told me that lots of people collect data, but few people know what to do with it. I didn’t understand what he was talking about at the time, but I’ve come to have a better understanding over the years. It basically boils down to the difficulty that many of us experience when it comes to the best way to handle information. Our brains do some amazing things, but fail to “see” things when the perspective is all wrong.

Data surrounds us. It’s in everything we do, from the bank statements we receive in our personal life to the mountains of data collected by every healthcare institution. Regardless of the data collected, there are basically three things that can be done with it. Data can be ignored, it can be archived or it can be used. Unfortunately only one of those three things is truly useful; using it. Many people chose to ignore or archive data not because the information isn’t valuable, but because they are overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive and the way that the information is presented.
Continue reading Data visualization and dashboards

unSUMMIT 2011 Presentation (#unSUM11)

I uploaded the presentation I gave Thursday at the unSUMMIT in Louisville, Kentucky. You can see it below, although some of the slides came out a little rough when I uploaded it to slideshare. It looks like it may have something to do with the font I used. If I find time I’ll correct it later.

The presentation focused on the often overlooked things that need to be done following implementation of something like BCMA. Healthcare systems have a bad habit of not providing enough resources, both labor and monetary, to maintain and optimize technology once implemented. I simply suggested five things that healthcare systems could do post-implementation to make sure their BCMA implementation didn’t crumble right before their eyes.

And now that the unSUMMIT presentation has been delivered I am officially retiring from the role of presenter. Unlike some people I know, it takes me a concerted effort and a fair amount of time to put one of these things together, and I just don’t feel like doing it again. Enjoy.

Preparing for the unSUMMIT (#unSUM11)

I’m sitting in a hotel bar in Louisville, Kentucky having a salad as I prepare to register for the unSUMMIT. This is the second year in a row I’ve made the trek to the unSUMMIT. I felt that the experience I had last year was definitely worth a second look.

From the unSUMMIT website:

Conventional summits deliver a something-for-everyone survey of the landscape with little or no depth on any given topic. This warp-speed flight provides only a 30,000-foot view of the terrain below. Nurses, pharmacists, and IT professionals return to the trenches of their own hospitals no better equipped to dig in and implement change.

The unSUMMIT is different. It delivers a steadfast focus on barcode point-of-care technology. Attendees are outfitted with practical tools, insight, and inspiration for leading their institutions to carefully select, implement, and harness the quality-improvement power of BPOC systems.

Truly an unconventional convention, The unSUMMIT is designed to get you out of the clouds and into the weeds, where the union of technology and practice can be more easily realized through the shared expertise of your experienced colleagues.

I think most people believe that the unSUMMIT is nothing more than a bunch of people sitting around talking about BCMA, but it actually goes beyond that. Last year I heard presentations on not only bar-coding medications, but integrations of smartpumps into eMARs, the use of RFID tags, how to conduct observational studies and so on.

This year looks to provide a similarly broad scope of information. While reviewing the list of presentations I saw topics on mobile technology, accountability, technology roadmapping, workflow design and of course a lot of stuff on bar-coding medications.

The unSUMMIT begins officially tomorrow morning. I will be presenting on Thursday, April 28 at 2:00pm. I haven’t decided if I’m going to post the presentation here or not. I’ll let you know.

If you’d like to know what’s going on during the conference you can follow the Twitter stream at #unSUM11.