Understanding the Big Picture: Trends in Data Provide Perspective
We are all trying to understand the data around COVID-19. What is important to remember is that one day’s numbers will never give a full picture. While our dashboard is updated daily, the trends over time are what give us a better picture of COVID-19 in our community.
In addition to the data dashboard, the combination of metrics in the Forward Dane plan are designed to give us an overall picture of disease incidence and our ability as a healthcare system to contain and mitigate it. In addition to the metrics you see online, our data team also keeps tabs on process measures. These measures help us see specifically where underlying issues lie. For example, we have a metric that measures lab timeliness and contact tracing. This week that measure turned red. Our team looked to the process measures to pinpoint that the true issue was with processing lab results at the community test site, where process improvements continue to be made daily.
The Forward Dane metrics are updated weekly, and right now they tell us we are managing our new reality. Disease is still present and will be until we have a vaccine or successful treatment. We all need to continue taking precautions—like staying home when we’re sick, washing our hands often, and staying six feet from people we don’t live with. These strategies are even more important if you are someone living with underlying health conditions or you interact with someone who does.