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The Basics Of Hospital Reporting & How Technology Can Help
There’s no secret handbook on how to do hospital reports, but there is some basic information that’s important to know. Learn more in this article.
There’s no doubt that the finances and operations of the healthcare industry are complicated. This makes it hard for hospitals to report on what they’re doing and how well they’re doing it—especially when there’s no handbook to guide the way. But there is some basic information about hospital reporting and how it can be managed that’s important to know, which we’ll walk through in this article.
What is hospital reporting?
There is no set definition or prescribed format for hospital reporting, but every facility must do it in one manner or another. This ambiguity can be attributed to the wide variety of services provided by hospitals and clinics. A hospital with a large oncology ward located within a busy city will have vastly different data and reports than a walk-in clinic in a quiet suburban area. The lack of mandatory requirements for hospital reports enables each healthcare facility to choose for itself what’s most important to track, measure, and present to its board and leadership team.
That being said, hospital reports should always serve the goal of surfacing information that can help the facility provide the best healthcare possible. To be effective and strategic, reports should focus on data sets and trends (versus individual patient records), be suitable for an audience of senior-level stakeholders, and occur on a quarterly or annual frequency. In other words, hospital reports should present a macro view of how the facility operates over time, not how one patient was cared for on a specific day.
What Hospital Reporting Looks Like (In Theory)
Best practices dictate that hospital reporting should not focus on the health of an individual patient, but rather on the health of the overall “business.” Measuring and reporting on the people, resources, and operations that run a healthcare system is the most effective way to determine if patients are getting a high quality of care.
In general, hospital reports should include summary information (such as dashboards) and analysis on:
- Departments (including treatment types)
- Staff (surgeons, nurses, administrators, etc.)
- Medical equipment usage
- Facility operations
How a specific report is organized varies by facility. It’s fair to say that most reports present data for the entire healthcare network, as well as a breakdown by location (if applicable) and department. So, a hospital financial report could contain three versions that show the network-wide, location-specific, and department-specific finances.
It’s also worth noting that some reports may be state or federally mandated, but again, this varies and current legislation is evolving. Each hospital is responsible for determining which reports are required and providing them as needed.
A hospital is a complex organization that generates more information than you can possibly report on. Since you can’t monitor and review everything, it’s important to determine what you want to prioritize. That could mean generating reports on hospital admissions, finances, business performance, community health trends, and more. The only hope for tracking the massive amount of data that flows through hospitals, and then leveraging it to make strategic decisions, is to leverage technology.
An Example Of Hospital Reporting With Technology
Using a strategic reporting platform, hospitals can automatically track, measure, and report on whatever healthcare metrics they’ve determined to be priorities. For example, one large hospital uses software to aggregate and roll up data from individual and operational levels to the overall organization level. The data owners at each level track and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and strategic projects within the technology platform, generating a score that’s then averaged and aggregated with the next level “up,” eventually generating an overall hospital report card.
Administration Score +
Department Score +
Healthcare Provider Score =
Clinic Overall Score
For example, the administration department may have 20 key measures its reporting on; the department averages its performance across these measures to create an overall department score. This is similar to asking “What percent are we to being 100% green on our scorecard?” Maybe the score is 84.5, meaning the department averages 84.5 out of 100 across all of its measures. The administrative units (including other shared services) and all departments have scores that then either add up or average to an overall clinic score.
Using software, the hospital can also make the information presented in its reports interactive. Leadership teams viewing the reports can click on a data point—for example, a KPI such as staff-to-patient ratio or number of patients served per month—to drill down for more details on how it was measured and why the score appears as it does. This includes both quantitative and qualitative details, which gives leadership more context and aids their strategic decision making.
Ultimately, the benefit technology provides (for this example hospital and your facility) is that all data from across the organization is centralized in one system and can be aligned with the larger business strategies. From there, it’s easy to generate reports that are consistent, accurate, and timely.
Do your business strategies need some shaping up? Check out these strategy map templates for your hospital.
ClearPoint can help with your hospital reports.
ClearPoint is a comprehensive strategy management system with robust reporting tools. Our software is designed to help organizations like healthcare facilities build, manage, execute, and report on their strategic plans—this includes everything mentioned in this article, from tracking KPIs to generating overall report cards and analysis.
Some of ClearPoint’s top features for hospital reporting include:
- Customizable templates and layouts
- Data visualizations (dashboards, charts, and more)
- Automatic data uploads, calculations, and aggregation
- At-a-glance status indicators
- Interactive, clickable formats
- Ability to combine both quantitative and qualitative information