The Building Blocks of Automated Reporting

April 27, 2022 Fiona Sykes

The Building Blocks of Automated Reporting

The Wellstar patient safety team is reprioritizing patient safety efforts as the pandemic’s impact begins to slow – and one of their key tools is automated reporting. Three members of their team: Jodi Snow, Director of Patient Safety; Leslie Shephard, Patient Safety Operations Consultant; and Kya Sasena, Sr. Data Transformation Analyst discuss how a successful strategy for effective automated reporting requires continuous education, persistent staff engagement and informed and supportive leadership.

Educating teams on using automated reporting systems
For Wellstar, training begins with robust onboarding training and competencies, but doesn’t end there. Their approach to education is ongoing, meant to hardwire best practices into reality. Every Thursday, Kya leads a “Safer” call made up of patient safety team members to discuss workflow, provide and receive relevant updates or feedback, and view and interpret reports, ultimately tying them to overall trends. Outside of this call, team members have access to a variety of resources, including checklists, tip sheets, group sessions and even 1:1s when appropriate.  The Wellstar team has also invested in creating an interactive case-based learning module with audio. The first section is all about reporting and covers topics for managers about reviewing events and recommended workflows and includes tools and tips on how to use the dashboard. The second section is directed at quality leads and discusses how they should conduct RCAs. This training is meant to be a one-stop shop for all things automated reporting related. Building in opportunities for ongoing learning helps keep staff up-to-date and involved.

Encouraging staff engagement
Continuous education breeds opportunity for sustained engagement. For example, the frequent touchpoints through the Thursday meetings helps Wellstar employees to feel like their voices are being heard. Jodi, Leslie and Kya recognize that the best way to increase buy-in for reporting is by ensuring their team members understand “the why” for any key strategies being implemented, and how the strategies are in line with their collective aim for zero harm. 

As any leader will tell you, engagement is impacted by culture and tone within an organization. Leslie is touted for how her positive reinforcement drives engagement, but the whole team is known to appreciate every comment and believe that every person in the room can bring a different view and perspective that perhaps hadn’t yet been considered. Taking those perspectives and comments and acting on them where possible builds trust and helps people to feel like it’s worth it to continue to speak up. 

Allowing other staff opportunities to take ownership in their own areas of expertise and even grow into new roles and responsibilities helps with buy-in and engagement, too, but also gives the right people the right access to make information more readily accessible.
Jodi builds a monthly great catch newsletter that includes six or seven short stories about near misses and is sent to all relevant employees. Each story briefly describes a high-level overview of what happened with just enough detail to evoke emotion, identifies the barriers that prevented harm and then reinforces reliability skills that serve as a takeaway for readers.

Communicating data to executives
The patient safety team at Wellstar provides a high-level set of weekly and monthly reports for their executive teams and a special set of reports specifically for their CEO.  Automated reporting has given Wellstar the chance to report numbers, reports and trends to help inform leadership decisions to reprioritize limited resources.  Giving leadership the information they need to make well-informed decisions has also helped to build employee’s trust in their executives and reinforce that they will take personal responsibility for the systems’ actions and by nurturing HRO principles.

Ultimately, it also helps leadership to use language that resonates with staff, reinforcing that patient safety is at the forefront and is the organization’s first priority, always.  

Safer with RLDatix
Our partnership with Wellstar has provided the structure and software their teams need to collect relevant data and present it in a way that resonates with their executive leadership team. By improving their reporting process with us, the Wellstar team has achieved safer patients, a safer workforce and a safer organization.



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