The provision of clinical services increasingly relies on data to inform decisions, improve healthcare processes, target potential issues, and strategically position services as healthcare practices adopt electronic health records and enhance their capacity to share patient data. In addition, the development of health-related analytic software tools constitutes one of the largest expenditure categories among health information technology investments today. To keep pace with the healthcare community and to leverage the unprecedented availability of patient information, North Carolina’s local health departments are exploring ways to report and display digital patient data in meaningful  ways.

In particular, they have undertaken a project to:

  • develop a set of performance indicator requirements, and
  • to develop a working clinical dashboard.

The performance indicator requirements include a list of indicators intended to represent the performance of programs and key clinical processes in local health department clinics. Displayed graphically, these indicators enable LHD leadership and clinical managers to regularly and quickly ascertain the performance of their programs.

These requirements include descriptors for each indicator that would enable developers to create a useful and revealing clinical dashboard. They are intended to be used by North Carolina’s LHDs in their discussions with their EHR vendors  which discussing the analytic capabilities of the HER software and to assist in the design of clinical dashboards provided by the respective vendors.

The working dashboard has been developed with PatagoniaHealth, an EHR vendor that is currently providing support for over 30 LHDs. The dashboard requirements can be accessed at North Carolina Local Public Health: Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Requirements (PDF).  A document that displays and describes some of the indicators available on the working dashboard can be viewed at Patagonia Health Dashboard (PDF).