Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Tracking and Sustaining Improvement Initiatives: Leveraging Quality Dashboards to Lead Change in a Neurosurgical Department

McLaughlin, Nancy MD, PhD*; Afsar-manesh, Nasim MD*,‡; Ragland, Victoria BSc*; Buxey, Farzad MSc*; Martin, Neil A. MD*

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000265
Special Article

Increasingly, hospitals and physicians are becoming acquainted with business intelligence strategies and tools to improve quality of care. In 2007, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Neurosurgery created a quality dashboard to help manage process measures and outcomes and ultimately to enhance clinical performance and patient care. At that time, the dashboard was in a platform that required data to be entered manually. It was then reviewed monthly to allow the department to make informed decisions. In 2009, the department leadership worked with the UCLA Medical Center to align mutual quality-improvement priorities. The content of the dashboard was redesigned to include 3 areas of priorities: quality and safety, patient satisfaction, and efficiency and use. Throughout time, the neurosurgery quality dashboard has been recognized for its clarity and its success in helping management direct improvement strategies and monitor impact. We describe the creation and design of the neurosurgery quality dashboard at UCLA, summarize the evolution of its assembly process, and illustrate how it can be used as a powerful tool of improvement and change. The potential challenges and future directions of this business intelligence tool are also discussed.

ABBREVIATION: UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles

*Department of Neurosurgery and

Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Correspondence: Neil A. Martin, Professor and W. Eugene Stern Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Ronald Reagan, UCLA Medical Center, 757 Westwood Plaza, Ste 6236, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7436. E-mail:

Received April 08, 2013

Accepted November 25, 2013

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons