The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care > Preventing, Assessing, and Treating Pain > 4.6 Telling Your Story: Time Series Chart
To measure its progress, Team Faith compiled data for a chart that showed what percentage of patients dying each month had achieved their own pain management goal each week. To measure improvement, the team used the electronic record to identify pain that was out of control and when it was reported. Then the system calculated whether relief was documented within eight hours.
For the numerator, Team Faith used the number of patients whose pain level was less than the patient's own preferred level at all times or within eight hours of reporting a pain problem. (These patients represent a subset of the denominator.)
The denominator was the total number of cancer patients in hospice who: (1) had any pain problem in their problem list; (2) were able to state their preferred level and their actual level; and (3) had died that month in hospice care.
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Figure 4.1. Annotated time series chart.