Outpatient Whiteboard

The Outpatient Whiteboard (OPWB) application is a clinical workflow tool designed to facilitate communication among all members of the healthcare team – front desk, nurses, providers, and supporting personnel – by displaying numerous aspects of a patient’s status. In addition to information about the appointment, additional workflow-relevant items commonly displayed are the patient’s location, the length of time at that location, and the status of tests to be performed, processes to be completed and/or personnel to be seen in clinic.

The OPWB also collects data on clinic workflow activities which can be used to identify bottlenecks and re-allocate resources. It’s tight integration with Starpanel allows the OPWB to serve as an application portal, from which additional electronic medical record (EMR) functionalities can be launched. It has been used to implement process management techniques in Quality Improvement projects, most recently to help reduce missed opportunities for influenza vaccination in children.

OPWB Team Membersas of 2/1/2016

Senior Product Manager – Deidre Wright, BSB/A
Technical Lead – Dario Giuse and Starpanel Team
Quality Assurance Analyst – vacant
Business Analyst – Lauren Norman

Statisticsas of 2/4/2016

Maximum number of unique users in a single day: 3,318 users on Jan 14th, 2016
Sample number of unique users over a 3-month period: 6,175 (1/19/15 thru 4/19/15)
Total number of configured whiteboards: 201

Early History of the OPWB

  • Initially Developed as part of the ChemoWiz Project
  • Dec 2004 – Production HL7 EPIC Messages Begin Populating the OPWB
  • Summer 2005 – OPWB Implemented in Pediatric and Adult Cancer Centers
  • Oct 2005 – OPWB Implemented in Peds Primary Care and Acute Care Clinics with DOT Opening 10/3
  • Nov 2006 – Live Demonstration of OPWB at AMIA Annual Symposium
  • Aug 2007 – Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program Converts from Digichart and Uses OPWB to Replace Queue Management System
  • Sep 2008 – Patient Pagers Piloted in Adult Cancer Center
  • Feb 2009 – 1st day at One Hundred Oaks for OB, Univ Peds, Lab
  • Aug 2009 – OHO Dermatology Rollout Completes 1st Phase at One Hundred Oaks
  • 8/11/09 – First Day that Number of Distinct Users Passes 1,000

Workflow Reports

The OPWB generates upwards of 50,000 data points each weekday related to clinics’ workflows and the tasks performed within those clinics. In addition to timestamps that are recorded when patients are placed in and out of various rooms/locations in clinic, many clinics use specific columns in the whiteboard to mark the status (i.e., ordered, in progress, done) of events that occur in clinic, such as specific studies, technical procedures, or educational activities. The timestamps for these status updates are also recorded, and all of this timestamp data for a given day is sent to the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) the following morning at 6 am. The OPWB application does not itself generate reports using this data, but analysts can access this data (table star.op_wb_patient_status) through existing EDW tools.

Additional in-House Resources

OPWB Information on Confluence (Log In required)
Project Review Video from Feb 26, 2014 (Log In required)

Journal Articles, Conference Proceedings, Peer-Reviewed Abstracts Associated with the OPWB Project

  • Steitz BD, Weinberg ST, Danciu I, Unertl KM. Managing and Communicating Operational Workflow. Designing and Implementing an Electronic Outpatient Whiteboard. Applied Clinical Informatics. 2016;7(1):59-68.
  • Weinberg ST. Profiling Users of an Electronic Outpatient Whiteboard Across an Enterprise Healthcare System. Accepted for poster presentation: American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, Chicago, IL, November 2012.
  • Weinberg ST, Patterson BL. Embedding Process Management into an Electronic Outpatient Whiteboard to Address Real-time Pediatric Influenza Vaccination Status. Accepted for poster presentation: American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, Washington, DC, November 2010.
  • Weinberg ST. Optimizing an Electronic Outpatient Whiteboard Through Analysis of Incoming HL7 Scheduling Messages. Accepted for poster presentation: American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium, San Francisco, CA, November 2009.
  • Weinberg ST, Giuse DA, Miller RA, Arrieta MA. The Outpatient Clinic Whiteboard – Integrating Existing Scheduling and EMR Systems to Enhance Clinic Workflows. AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings, 1197:2006.

Additional Related Journal Articles

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