Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NIH Clinical Center Uses New Tool

Too often information systems have not provided the information that executives need in the necessary timeframe and at the level of usability required. To meet the Clinical Center’s (CC) information needs at NIH, the Executive Information System (EIS) was recently launched.

EIS is a work-station based information system that integrates information on key performance indicators and trends affecting their specific institutions. The EIS a new tool available to NIH reports on key CC clinical activity data while giving the institutes and centers much needed information.

Data is populated into the EIS though the Clinical Research Information System (CRIS) and other departmental systems. The customized dashboards in the web-based EIS provide query and reporting capabilities on the hospital’s daily and monthly utilization.

The system offers visual displays of year to date data so users can evaluate trends and compare operational data. The data is not available at a patient level and does not represent hospital charges of reimbursement rates but reflects volume of units according to the industry standard. 

The EIS grew out of the Data Transformation Initiative (DTI), a multi-year project that translated CC activity data into uniform terms and codes used by other academic medical and research centers. With the completion of the DTI and the launch of the EIS clinical activity dashboards, it now means that the institutes and leaders of the NIH centers have access to patient demographic data along with costs for services provided.

“We will be able to benchmark our activities to the industry to evaluate efficiency internally or against other academic medical centers,” said Maria Joyce, CC Chief Financial Officer. “The institutes will be able to understand the total cost of a protocol, which will encourage data-driven decision making, and help the institutes manage their programs more effectively.”

Dr. Tom Fleisher, Chief of the Department of Laboratory Medicine for CC, is looking forward to using the EIS to evaluate data on a longitudinal level. “Having this data accessible will facilitate better understanding of the costs for specific laboratory operations because we can see whether operational changes can translate into cost savings.”