Evaluating the Impact of an Operational Dashboard on Pharmacy Productivity in an Academic Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate whether the implementation of a productivity dashboard would impact productivity of the inpatient pharmacist staff. A secondary objective was to evaluate the impact of the dashboard on pharmacist opinion of management communication of productivity goals.
Methods: Data was gathered from the VISTA pharmacy package of the VA via Microsoft SQL queries. The data was presented to the staff in an Excel visual dashboard. Two months of baseline data was collected, the dashboard was introduced to the staff, and then two months of subsequent data was collected. Questionnaires regarding staff opinion on productivity information and goals were administered one week prior to implementation and one week after the study period ended.
Results: Sick leave increased from 7 and 11 instances in November and December, respectively, to 20 and 11 instances in January and February respectively. Overtime utilization increased from 0.48% of overall hours from the beginning study pay period to 3.50% at the end of the study period. Average number of inpatient orders increased 18% from 1717 orders per day in November to 2029 daily orders in February. There were an additional average of 133 orders per day on the day shift and 83 orders on the evening shift. The overnight shift saw no significant change. Outpatient orders increased from 1506 in November, peaking at 1788 orders in January and then falling to 1642 orders in February. 7.45% of all medications dispensed were considered missing in November, and then declined to 7.33% in February. There were a total of 2 EPRP related to pharmacy in the baseline period and 1 in the post-implementation period. 6 EPER’s were reported in November and three in December. Post-implementation, two were reported in January and two in February. Overall questionnaire responses increased 0.7 points on Question 1, 0.7 points on Question 2, 1.35 points on Question 3 and 0.7 points on Question 4.
Conclusions: The dashboard implementation was effective in raising employee perception of awareness of management productivity goals and their own performance. It functioned effectively as a communication tool and highlighted several issues related to staffing and distribution of labor resources that will help equalize workload amongst different work areas and shifts. The claim cannot be made that the dashboard implementation increased pharmacy productivity, as defined as increased safety or orders processed.