Stuart T. Weinberg, MD, FAAP, FAMIA

Clinical Informatics Consultant

Vanderbilt and the Outpatient Whiteboard - 2005 thru 2017
updated December 23, 2021

HISTORICAL SUMMARY - from February 4, 2016
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.

Statistics - as 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 Scheduling 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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, Patterson BL. Embedding Real-Time Clinical Decision Support in An Electronic Whiteboard to Reduce Missed Opportunities for Influenza Vaccination in Children. Accepted for poster presentation: 44th National Immunization Conference, Atlanta, GA, April 2010.

  • 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. 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.

  • 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.

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