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Compatibility with the organization and local culture

Once you have established practical measures, you will be able to produce visual displays of your performance over time by tracking the metric on control or run charts. Control and run charts are helpful tools for regularly assessing the impact of process improvement and redesign efforts: monthly, weekly, or even daily. In contrast to tables of aggregated data (or summary statistics), which present an overall picture of performance at a given point in time, run and control charts offer an ongoing record of the impact of process changes over time.

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run chart  can show different data collection points plotted over time for a specific survey question, e.g., an item about patients’ ability to reach the practice by phone. By measuring and tracking results to this question at regular and frequent time intervals, managers can discern how process improvement interventions relate to changes in survey results. If an intervention appears to have positive results, it can be continued and sustained; if not, it can be modified or discontinued.

Dashboard reports are another way to display performance. A dashboard report presents important data in summary form in order to make it easier to identify gap in performance and trend performance against goals. Dashboards can be a useful method for sharing consistent information across multiple levels of an organization. For example, the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) prepares quarterly leadership dashboards with benchmarks and targets, where relevant, at a summary level across clinical services, at the clinical service level, and at the practice level.10