HTM: Visualizing Inspection Schedule Balancing

PM’s can be a real resource drain, especially on the heavy months. That has been one thing that has always confounded me as long as I have worked as an HTM professional (or Biomed  — the name keeps changing). I have never understood why you would have one month with over 1000 scheduled inspections and only 200 scheduled inspections in another month.

The problem is, balancing the workload is a tedious job, sifting through pages of work order lists and moving schedules around. However, if you don’t feel like going cross eyed staring at all of that small text, try giving data visualization a try.


This graph above(produced using Tableau) shows the scheduled work order load for an imaginary hospital. Note that each color block represents a separate department.


Mousing over each colored block provides a fly out showing the Department and record count. You can go here to try the interactive visualization out for yourself: Click here to interact

Looking at this visualization, it is easy to see where departments can be quickly moved around to balance the load. This visualization, if connected to your database, can also become part of a dashboard – allowing you to keep an eye on the work load and prevent it from become unbalanced as departments open and closed and equipment comes and goes.

Now the final data model I created takes more into account than simply the number of records. Using historical data, I add a timing factor to each inspection (this takes into account that the inspection of a diagnostic ultrasound machine will take more time than the inspection of an IV pump). I also add in a personnel factor (if you only have one technician qualified to work on imaging equipment vs 8 technicians for standard patient care equipment, the imaging technician’s time should be weighted to represent that).

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