I found this article in the May issue of Continuous Improvement, put together by IHI. What was most enlightening about the following article, by Bob Lloyd, is that your background may affect how you choose to evaluate data and thus how you respond to data.
I have been exposed to control charts for nearly 30 years and I see a use for most process data to be displayed in control chart form. We are all routinely exposed to data in binary form: the stock market went up compared to yesterday, the temperature is cooler today than on this date last year, our company had x% growth over last year, etc. The numbers are interesting, but control charts tell a story.
Helping Leaders “Blink” Correctly
In the first of two articles, IHI’s Bob Lloyd describes two of four core skills health care leaders need to use data appropriately in decision making: understanding the messiness of improving health care, and determining why you are measuring. Without these capacities, Dr. Lloyd argues, we run the risk of going off in the wrong direction in the “blink of an eye.”