Today, it seems like every company, every piece of equipment, and every organization is either asking for reports or sending reports. We need to ask ourselves “Is this report really beneficial?” Just because you have a report or obtain a report, it doesn’t mean the report is necessarily valuable to you. That statement has never been more true than with Event Reporting Software (ERS).
Think of the report as a tool to repair your automobile; you may have a box full of different tools to repair it but that doesn’t mean all the tools are needed for every repair. The same can be said for reports in Event Reporting Software, they’re plenty available to provide you with information, but it’s your job to decipher which tool is valuable to you.
Determining a Report’s Value
Wading through pages and pages of data available in reports available from your Event Reporting System is daunting as well as impractical. Evaluate reports currently in use and ask yourself these questions:
Does the report effect change?
Is it used to manage tasks and ensure the most important items are tended to?
Do you find yourself asking questions and seeking answers based on the results?
Is this report used as a benchmark?
Is this report run consistently (daily, weekly, or monthly) and reviewed against the previous results?
Are there specific indicators that you identified as good, bad, urgent, etc.?
Do your policies & procedures address the outcomes and provide guidelines for handling?
If you answered ‘no’ to the above questions it may mean the report is unproductive or unnecessary. It takes patience and persistence to make sure the data gleaned is useful and accurate to your assessment of a situation.
Determining Success via Reports
Once you’ve determined which reports are beneficial, there’s a temptation to measure one’s success or set goals from the information provided in those reports. Obviously, the “goal” from ERS is providing better, safer and a higher quality of care. That said, “better, safer and quality” are abstract concepts and measuring these ideas in a concrete way requires us to correlate a measurable activity to an abstract concept.
If it sounds complicated, that’s because it can be.
Before you run a report you should already know what good and/or bad looks like. There should be clear documentation of when notifications are sent and who should receive notifications; regardless if they are manual or automated alerts.
When reporting is used correctly it can be a very effective tool. If not, you’re likely to find yourself and your organization drowning in data that is useless and burdensome.