Best Practices

Scale Matters

Choosing the right graph type to display your healthcare data is only part of the battle. You also need to keep an eye on details such as the scale of the graph’s axes. Software applications default to the maximum value … Continue reading

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Genius Steals

I always chuckle appreciatively when I see good, creative work that recalls Oscar Wilde’s defiant “Talent borrows; genius steals.” Here’s an example. I loved this table displaying patient satisfaction survey results by hospital floor compared with national benchmarks; it was … Continue reading

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Is Knowledge Enough To Inspire Action?

In my last newsletter, I discussed “plain language”– clear, simple writing that people can actually understand and use. I closed with the following statement: “Plain language alone is not enough to get people to use the information you present to … Continue reading

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Do You Know How To Make It Plain?

Over the past week, I’ve been working (via an ongoing email exchange with my colleague Sandy) on a description in exactly 15 words (no more, no fewer) of the services that our new company, HealthDataViz, offers. We are completing an … Continue reading

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You Can Learn A Lot From a Watermelon Mojito

Sadly, the long, lazy afternoons making and sipping my favorite summer cocktail — a watermelon mojito — are winding down. I love this drink, made with fresh watermelon purée, mint, lime juice, simple syrup, and light rum. The layering of … Continue reading

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Peace, Love, Joy and Personas

We keep this great stack of cards in the dining room: it’s called “TableTopics: Questions to Start Really Great Conversations.” Questions range from “would you prefer to spend money for a housekeeper, a cook, a gardener, or a personal secretary?” … Continue reading

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For the Font of It

Dr. Fizzy McFizz at DocCartoon.com has identified the seven types of physician handwriting she encountered during her medical training. I’m not a physician, but—I’m embarrassed to admit—my handwriting fits squarely into category #7: “Had 30 Seconds to Write.” I disclose … Continue reading

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Stale Donut (Charts)

The other day, I was looking over some reports I’d received from a new client when I came across a doughnut chart. Suddenly, for some inexplicable reason — and to no one in particular — I heard myself quoting Homer … Continue reading

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Confidence Intervals Required

Here’s what’s driving me crazy today: healthcare outcome and performance reports — especially those that display statistics such as Observed versus Expected (O/E) Mortality Ratios without showing the relevant (and utterly crucial) Confidence Intervals (CI’s). This omission should make you … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Dashboards, Data Analysis, Decision Support, Graphs, Know Your Audience, Newsletters, Risk Adjustment, Statistics (is not a dirty word) | 2 Comments

Mere Mortals and Mortality Data

Many, many moons ago when I was a dating girl, I discovered that there were basically two categories of bad dates. There was the date that I hoped might lead to something more, but that ended with “I’m not ready … Continue reading

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