Customer profile:
Cleveland Clinic

Note: These customers were using a previous version of CHARTrunner which has since been integrated into our current SQCpack solution.

CHARTrunner solves hospital's daunting data task

Taming mountains of data can be a daunting task—a fact that is nowhere more apparent than in the health care industry. Collecting data is one challenge, and making sense of it can be even more daunting. Hospitals generate data at a rate commensurate to the complex services they offer and the diverse customers whom they serve.

Medicare DRG case mix index adjusted ALOS by MonthThe prestigious Cleveland Clinic has solved the problem of making data analysis quickly available to those who need it, with the help of CHARTrunner from PQ Systems.

Balazs Nemeth leads Clinical Resource Management and Decision Support for the Cleveland Clinic Health System, Eastern Region. The four hospitals in the Eastern Region have been using CHARTrunner for at least two years. They use the power of histograms, p-charts, and other charts to monitor length of stay, case mix index, case mix suggested length of stay, mortality rates, and other patient data.

Data entered into Access can be picked up by CHARTrunner anytime

“We love CHARTrunner,” Nemeth says. By freezing control limits at 16 data points, analysts have baseline data against which new data is evaluated. Charts are downloaded through the Eclipse Support System, a clinical and financial database for the large hospital. Data entered into Access “can be picked up by CHARTrunner anytime.” This saves time and hastens needed improvement efforts. When changes are made in processes, improvement can be documented with data. Charts showing improvement in infection control, for example, provide dramatic evidence that the hospital’s methods are working.

What used to take several days now happens in a half day or less. Nemeth says that the hospital has cut more than 75 percent from the amount of time it took to generate reports prior to using CHARTrunner. “Every chart would have to be updated, and statistics calculated one at a time,” Nemeth says. He adds that CHARTrunner not only updates charts automatically from Access within a half day, but automatically runs seven tests for stability (7 points up or down, too close to mean, etc.) in that time. Charts are shared in .pdf format via the hospital’s internet connections.

User friendliness makes training simpler

How does a large hospital system manage the training required to make the most of a software application? Easily, Nemeth says. “We love the ease of use of CHARTrunner,” and points out that this user friendly characteristic makes training far simpler as well. Using rules customized for the hospital’s needs, Nemeth and his colleagues train users within the hospital, saving resources that might be demanded for more complex software. Nemeth’s hope is that lab, pharmacy, chronic disease, and case management areas will be trained in the near future.

Those who are closest to the data analysis process utilize the power of the software on a daily basis. Its use has spread to executive levels as well. Nemeth says that reports are viewed and shared by “big fans of CHARTrunner,” including the executive staff, physicians, and the hospital’s board of directors at their quarterly meetings. The entire hospital system operates with data-driven decision making, so Nemeth is optimistic about continued use of data to improve processes.

Cleveland Clinic has long been considered among the best hospitals in the nation, but, says Nemeth, that isn’t enough. “We want to be the best hospital,” he says—something that may just happen, if the hospital continues to rely on accurate data collection and analysis, and to base decisions about changing and improving processes on that analysis.

It might be said that Cleveland Clinic’s mountain of data has been tamed, at least in part by CHARTrunner.