Journal of Medical Systems

, 42:133 | Cite as

An Electronic Dashboard to Monitor Patient Flow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital: Communication of Key Performance Indicators Using the Donabedian Model

  • Diego A. Martinez
  • Erin M. Kane
  • Mehdi Jalalpour
  • James Scheulen
  • Hetal Rupani
  • Rohit Toteja
  • Charles Barbara
  • Bree Bush
  • Scott R. Levin
Systems-Level Quality Improvement
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Systems-Level Quality Improvement


Efforts to monitoring and managing hospital capacity depend on the ability to extract relevant time-stamped data from electronic medical records and other information technologies. However, the various characterizations of patient flow, cohort decisions, sub-processes, and the diverse stakeholders requiring data visibility create further overlying complexity. We use the Donabedian model to prioritize patient flow metrics and build an electronic dashboard for enabling communication. Ten metrics were identified as key indicators including outcome (length of stay, 30-day readmission, operating room exit delays, capacity-related diversions), process (timely inpatient unit discharge, emergency department disposition), and structural metrics (occupancy, discharge volume, boarding, bed assignation duration). Dashboard users provided real-life examples of how the tool is assisting capacity improvement efforts, and user traffic data revealed an uptrend in dashboard utilization from May to October 2017 (26 to 148 views per month, respectively). Our main contributions are twofold. The former being the results and methods for selecting key performance indicators for a unit, department, and across the entire hospital (i.e., separating signal from noise). The latter being an electronic dashboard deployed and used at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to visualize these ten metrics and communicate systematically to hospital stakeholders. Integration of diverse information technology may create further opportunities for improved hospital capacity.


Systems engineering Dashboard Patient flow Hospital capacity Hospital overcrowding 


Compliance with ethical standards

The authors whose names are listed above certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest, or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego A. Martinez
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erin M. Kane
    • 1
  • Mehdi Jalalpour
    • 3
  • James Scheulen
    • 4
  • Hetal Rupani
    • 4
  • Rohit Toteja
    • 4
  • Charles Barbara
    • 4
  • Bree Bush
    • 5
  • Scott R. Levin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.BaltimoreUnited States
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringCleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  4. 4.Department of Emergency MedicineJohns Hopkins MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.GE Healthcare Camden GroupChicagoUSA

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