HUS - better snapshot and decisions to the operating room operations with BI

The visual presentation of information on the reports influences the decision-making within the organization at many different levels.

The cooperation in brief

Aiming to improve the overall picture of operating room activities

Prior to the development project with Pinja, the initial situation regarding data management and reporting was that there was a wide range of data about operating room activities, but an overview was missing due to a change of information systems where a part of the data was in the old system and a part in the new one.

Visually presented data to support decision making

The reports are used to monitor a wide range of variables, such as the number and type of procedures performed in the operating units, as well as the waiting times for both planned and emergency procedures.

The beneficiaries are the organization’s management, supervisors, and medical staff as well as patients

Thanks to the joint development work and the new combined reports produced as a result, there is now a clearer, data-based overview of operating room activities of HUS. The beneficiaries are not only the organization’s management, supervisors, and medical staff, but ultimately the patients, as well. Patients benefit from more efficient organization of surgical operations, among other things.

From the point of view of business management, it is of paramount importance that every organization knows its own activities. It is difficult to lead and make decisions based on a gut feeling. Even in our operating room units, we need to know what services we provide and which of them are the most used.

Irma Jousela, operating room division manager at HUCH

Better overall picture with clear reporting

Reporting is performed on all operating room activities of HUS, and is led by the Perioperative, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine department (ATeK) of Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH).  The heads of specialized surgery divisions are also involved in the development. ATeK is one of HUCH’s 13 business units, and the Perioperative division is responsible for anesthesiologists in the hospitals of the HUCH area, as well as the majority of surgical units, in addition to providing treatment. Nearly 100,000 surgeries are performed annually throughout the Helsinki University Hospital, many of which are critical to patients or otherwise significantly improve quality of life.

Prior to the development project with Pinja, the initial situation regarding data management and reporting was that there was a wide range of data about operating room activities, but an overview was missing due to a change of information systems where a part of the data was in the old system and a part in the new one.

– Our previous situation was that we were able to compile data on operating room activities mainly at the level of an individual operating unit, and we had to compare the old data manually if we wanted, for example, comparative data from the past two years. We wanted reports that could combine all functions, a longer period of time and all units at the same time, and thus also gain an overview of the activities, says Irma Jousela, operating room division manager at HUCH.

The visual presentation of information on the reports influences the decision-making within the organization at many different levels, including resourcing and work arrangements, as well as competence development and its emphases. The reports also help track changes in working hours, as well as the annual cycle. In addition, the data can be used to monitor the profiling of different hospitals into specific specialties at a national level, and whether the distribution ratio related to different functions is correct.

A big picture helps focus on essentials

Power BI-based operating room reporting is used by several user groups at HUS, and after testing, direct access to the reports was given to the entire staff of the hospital. The solution is also used in quality control and scientific work.

The reports are used to monitor a wide range of variables, such as the number and type of procedures performed in the operating units, as well as the waiting times for both planned and emergency procedures. In addition, the nature of the anomalies, the operating room utilization rates and the mutual distribution of procedures by specialty are monitored.

With system development, HUS not only wanted to expand but also extend the timeframe of the overview of its operating room activities. The focus will be shifted to the future, for example, with a report called “order book”, which in the future will collect data on patients as soon as there is a surgical decision in their case. The report will help anticipate surgical activities further ahead.

– It has been essential for us to be able to separate planned activities from those already done – this is by no means self-evident in information systems. However, Pinja’s employees immediately caught on to the idea, and I think the cooperation has worked very well, Jousela says.

Jousela has decades of experience in developing information systems and reporting for the operating room activities of HUS, and she has participated in several deployments over the years. She considers it to be important that, even on the public sector, information on where working hours are spent and what the units have accomplished is available.

– I would give Pinja a very good overall rating for the development project. In my opinion, this has been influenced by two specific success factors of Pinja. First of all, we found a common language between medical staff and BI experts. An important part of this was, among others, that we received very useful training from Pinja on the basic principles of Power BI at an early stage. This enabled us to immediately get an idea on what the system can do and what is possible. Secondly, Pinja has been good at picking out the things that are important to us from our discussions, Jousela says.

Visible work results motivate staff and supports decision-making

The reporting system built by Pinja for HUS is designed to serve its users for several years, if not decades. It was therefore important to take into account the long time invested in the development and background logic – it should not be a disposable product. This requirement has been considered a guiding line in the development work and implementation solutions have been made specifically from a long-term perspective. 

Thanks to the joint development work and the new combined reports produced as a result, there is now a clearer, data-based overview of operating room activities of HUS. The beneficiaries are not only the organization’s management, supervisors, and medical staff, but ultimately the patients, as well. Patients benefit from more efficient organization of surgical operations, among other things.

– It has had a big impact on the employees when they feel that the information they enter into the system is genuinely useful. It makes their work visible. It’s motivating to know what’s being done in the unit as a whole, and to be able to see it in black and white. I feel that we are reciprocally giving something back to our employees for their contribution, Jousela says.

A significant benefit from a business perspective is that there is now an up-to-date overview of operating room activities. This also makes it easier to plan and develop activities.

– From the point of view of business management, it is of paramount importance that every organization knows its own activities. It is difficult to lead and make decisions based on a gut feeling. Even in our operating room units, we need to know what services we provide and which of them are the most used. In fact, I wouldn’t really use the word “benefit” to describe what the solution provided by Pinja offers us. The solution was essential for us, Jousela concludes.

Photo: HUS

HUS in a nutshell

1. Finland's largest hospital district

2. The second largest employer in Finland

27 000 Employees

24 Hospitals

2,2 Million inhabitants in the area of special responsibility

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