The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care > Assuring Comfort > 5.6 Telling Your Story: Time Series Chart

Sick To Death book cover This extract from the online edition of The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care is used with permission.

Telling Your Story: Time Series Chart

Team Breathe-Easy

To measure progress, Team Breathe-Easy decided to chart how many hospitalized COPD patients were not readmitted to the hospital or emergency room within three months of the patients' initial hospital discharge. This measure was appealing because it was so easy to gather. Some of the team wanted to survey patients, but they realized that serious dyspnea virtually always led to the emergency room. Thus, the burden of surveys seemed to add little insight. To measure improvement, Team Breathe-Easy compared its hospital's readmission rate to the readmission rate of all COPD patients in the multisite system. Data were charted monthly.

For the numerator, Team Breathe-Easy used the number of patients who were not readmitted within three months of their initial discharge from the hospital. The denominator was the total number of patients that the team had enrolled.

The team tracked its results on the time series chart shown in Figure 5.1.

Figure 5.1. Annotated time series chart.

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Figure 5.1. Annotated time series chart.

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