Regardless of where we are in the world, be it our own homes or workplaces, a coffee shop or elsewhere, each and every one of us makes a number of subconscious assessments that determine how we feel about our current location. What this Hospital regulatory dataserves to demonstrate is how much the environment around us matters, and how much it can impact upon our health and happiness. Within a hospital environment, the same is certainly true. With that in mind, the NHS developed the Patient Led Assessment of the Care Environment (PLACE), a programme that ensures NHS-funded service providers are assessed annually by teams that include local members of the public. The programme replaces the previously known PEAT (Patient Environment Action Team), and eleven different areas are assessed, including food, facilities and ward organisations. Much like other large managed buildings, hospitals typically have an estates and facilities department. Recently, we’ve been working on a dynamic, interactive dashboard that can bring together PLACE and estates data for the purposes of comparison and analysis amongst previous year’s performance, comparison of like for like trusts and the identification of any correlation between different regulatory data. If you are a hospital or any organisation that collects vast quantities of data, you may be interested to read about how our dashboard can simplify your task.

Real Time Data
Within a dynamic, interactive dashboard, viewers are able to simply visualise data, and live data can even be fed into a dashboard as it is collected to allow real-time decision making processes. Naturally, the quality of a dashboard is only as good as the quality of the data fed into it, which is why processes such as our data automation and collection methodology are so important to ensure the richest insight from your dashboard. Using examples of PLACE and estates data, we can give you a glimpse of the endless means of analysis and comparison dynamic interactive dashboards can facilitate.

Data Visualisation: Putting together the pieces
As you’d expect, data within can be presented in traditional forms such as pie and bar charts, as well as double axis graphs. However, as data can be compared from one year to the next, visualisation of areas that have or could be improved becomes a much a simpler task, allowing actionable insight for the future. For example, one of the data sets measured in estates and facilities within a hospital setting is the cost of cleaning per square meter. If there is a noticeable difference between years, questions can then be asked as to why this may be.

Whilst close-ended questions (such as tick box responses) are represented well as graphs, free text responses and open-ended questions can be presented in a word cloud, a word relationship cloud or a heat map. In one particular project, we also correlated data with Google Maps, allowing visualisation by location. As well as this, a strong dashboard allows data to be drilled down to individual responses, with source code views allowing users to trace the exact form data came from.
In a similar manner to different Excel worksheets within one document, users can create customised tabs on a dashboard to organise their data. Each of these tabs can then be used to pull in different data sets for analysis.

Actionable insight through comparison
Looking to the example of the cost of cleaning once again, comparisons made between like for like data sets can then be linked to other, related, data sets. In this case, we may consider data on the number of cases of infection. If hospital A spent £5 per square meter on cleaning products in Year 1 and their infection rates were low, and then went on to spend £3 per square meter and saw an increase in infection rates, the correlation between these two data sets could easily be picked up on via the visualisation capabilities of the dashboard. Although this is a fairly basic example, the dashboard is capable of revealing more advanced patterns that would not otherwise be possible to detect. Within a dashboard, users are able to customise the ways in which information from different audits is brought together.Assessments such as PLACE collect data on the quality of food, whilst estates and facilities may collect data on money spent per meal, allowing the direct comparison to see whether there may be any correlation between the money spent on food and its quality. Comparison between audit results from hospitals of a similar size can provide quantifiable results that confirm or contest different hypotheses.

Seeing IS Believing
The use of a dynamic interactive dashboard is applicable in any setting where a large volume of data is collected. Previously, DCC have used this in measuring the success of awareness campaigns, activity analysis of staff, hospitals and in many other settings. If you would like to see a glimpse of our dashboard, please do call us or drop us an email at Using a simple link sent via email, we give you a live 15 minute demonstration of the dashboard at no cost, talking you through it over the with the dashboard visible on your screens. Alternatively, we can arrange a free educational knowledge share workshop at your premises if you’d prefer a face-to-face demo, during which we can discuss your current project and its challenges, and advise you how the dashboard can fit in, how it may help and how other technology may meet your specific demands.

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