In October 2012, CMS began reducing Medicare payments for Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospitals with excess readmissions. Excess readmissions are measured by a ratio, by dividing a hospital’s number of “predicted” 30-day readmissions for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, hip/knee replacement, and COPD by the number that would be “expected,” based on an average hospital with similar patients. A ratio greater than 1 indicates excess readmissions.
Hospitals get extra funding or have their reimbursements reduced based on how they do on these 5 readmission measures.
The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program calculations only include short-term acute care hospitals paid under Inpatient Prospective Payment System, and acute care hospitals in Maryland participating in the All-Payer Model.
To make comparisons fair, hospitals’ 30-day readmission results are “risk-adjusted” to account for differences in hospital patients’ characteristics that may make readmission more likely, including age, gender, past medical history, and other diseases or conditions (comorbidities) that patients had when they arrived at the hospital.
You are the chief data analyst for a hospital and are tasked to build a dashboard to analyze readmissions data provided by CMS, so the hospital management and board can quickly look at how the hospital is performing in comparison with other hospitals in the region and the country. The dashboard should be simple enough to be understood by providers and managers without extensive data training. Assume that national level data will be updated annually; however, for recommendation purposes, also assume you would have access to facility level data on a regular basis.
The point of this exercise is not only to learn how to think like a data analyst and use BI tools, but to also learn how to communicate business-relevant implications of data analyses. By the end of this assignment, you will know how to structure your data analysis projects to ensure the fruits of your hard labor yield results for your stakeholders. You will also learn how to streamline your analyses and highlight their implications efficiently using visualizations in Tableau, the most popular visualization program in the business world.
Don’t forget that this is not ONLY about crunching the numbers; there is a reason why these are called business analytics/intelligence tools. Healthcare is a business and in fact many healthcare organizations will have to rediscover their business side if they want to survive in this environment.
What you will have to do–the big picture:
craft the right questions to ensure your analysis project succeeds;
leverage questions to design logical and structured analysis plans;
create the most important graphs used in business analysis and transform data in Tableau;
design business dashboards with Tableau;
tell stories with data;
Tableau Installation Link
Tableau Installation LinkClick the link above to be directed to download Tableau.
Tableau for Students
Final Project Deliverables
Final Project Deliverables
Proposed Analysis Worksheet–30%
PowerPoint with final dashboards and charts–60%
Submit the right version of the Tableau file I can actually open–10
Final Submission for the Data Analysis Project
Final Submission for the Data Analysis ProjectBy now you have explored the data in detail and have selected the best visuals to support your arguments for how to improve your hospital’s readmissions status.
1) Finalize your Tableau charts:
Include a total of 9 charts with visuals (1 visual=1 chart or 1 dashboard)
Try to include at least one chart of each type (one map, one scatterplot, one bar chart) and one dashboard
Make sure each chart has a clear and meaningful title (e.g., not “Readmissions bar chart”)
Remove the legend if it does not add additional information not on the labeled axes
Increase font for data labels and text to at least 10 or 11 to make sure they are readable (and use black font, default is gray)
Export the charts from Tableau to PPT in bulk or as images. Do NOT use screenshots, they will make your visuals blurry
Be consistent in naming and colors chosen to represent the same concepts
No pie or bubble charts ?
2) Put together your PPT presentation (no audio necessary unless you want to explain further). Remember that the goal is to recommend a course of action for your hospital leadership based on the data you have available. Recommended slides for your PPT are (you can add a few more if it helps you make your point):
title page (1 slide)
background of the readmissions program–why is it important for hospitals and patients (1 slide); explain why we care about under 1 and over 1 for ERRs
background of your chosen hospital (1 slide)
analysis goals(1 slide)
9 slides with your chosen visuals as indicated above (Use the export function. Make sure charts are readable and fit on the slides, and are formatted appropriately.)
a brief description of each visual on that respective slide that explains the viewer what the main message is; these brief explanations are very important, as they guide your audience through and are the bread crumbs you leave behind on the way to your recommendation :). Make sure you do not repeat the info from the title and describe how we created the chart twice. Example: a good dashboard title would be Excess readmission ratios for X hospital and state and national averages. The blurb that provides insights on the side should not repeat that same info, but read something like: Heart failure readmissions are higher in our hospital compared to regional and national averages.
a findings slide that summarizes what you found in those 9 visuals–what do those charts tell us about readmissions and how do those findings relate to the deficiencies you observed in your chosen hospital?
a recommendations slide—what do you think the hospital should do in short/long term to address readmissions (there is a lot of research on causes and approaches to reduce readmissions, and I added examples of that below for COPD, but you don’t have to go that far if you don’t want to; instead, just look at the basics of how to improve readmissions such as transitional care, 7-day follow ups, chronic disease management–see the articles below, for example)
1) Tableau file in .twbx format (Go to File/Export Packaged Workbook). If you do not save it in this format I cannot open the file and cannot grade, and you will get ZERO points for this component. Please follow the instructions. Submitting the right version of the file is worth 10% of your project grade.
Indicate the charts or dashboards to be considered for final grade by adding “Final” to their name in the tabs at the bottom; as with any analysis, your Tableau file may have hundreds of charts, because you should try different things to see what looks better and what you would like to focus on. However, you will have to select what your main points are, and then select the final 9 you would like to have considered for the grade. Have at least one chart of each type and one dashboard, otherwise you can combine these charts in various ways (for a total of 9 visuals) 2) Add these 9 final visuals to a PPT presentation (see above info about what slides it should contain in addition to the charts exported from Tableau)
3. Proposed Analysis Worksheet