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. Developed in 2004 and first placed into production in the Adult and Pediatric Cancer Center clinics in the summer of 2005, the OPWB application handles 143 electronic whiteboards covering over 110 Vanderbilt clinic areas across middle Tennessee, reaching peaks of over 2,700 unique users per day tracking the activities of up to 6,000 patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Workflow Reports

The OPWB generates upwards of 40,000 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.

Faculty Participants: 
Stuart Weinberg
Primary Area of Medicine: 
Physician/Practitioner Office Services