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Spiderman and the Paynter

Two charts gaining more use in the Quality Improvement field of late are the Paynter chart and the Spider or Radar Chart.

As you know, the Pareto chart, using the Pareto Principle, identifies the vital few versus the trivial many. It is a tool used to focus efforts on these vital few. The Paynter chart takes the Pareto chart one step further. The Paynter chart adds more information to the Pareto by breaking the Pareto bars into subgroups of interest.

The following is an example of a Pareto of Medical Error Classifications. One would certainly use this chart to concentrate on the classification MS0001 and perhaps FS0001.

If a Paynter chart were drawn against this data but using a subgroup of Facility we might see a chart such as:

As you can see the groups of bars are ordered by the total Med Errors, similar to the Pareto. Each Pareto bar is replaced by 3 bars indicating the number of Med Errors at each facility.

This chart, then, gives us further important information of the Medical Errors, perhaps giving us some clues in our search for the root cause, or perhaps illustrating a more outstanding problem as in the second Med Error Code and the third Facility. It may point one to analyzing the appropriate Shewhart charts in depth.

The data for the Paynter chart is made up of that which you would run a Pareto chart on with additional subgrouping data. There are many candidates for subgrouping including date based (day, month), organizational (facility, floor, department, etc) or anything else that might be helpful in detecting differences that would be useful in finding the root cause.

While the Paynter is somewhat of a drilldown chart, the Spider Plot or Radar chart is a summary or rollup type of chart. It brings together in one view, the measures for several different areas of consideration and comparison. This type of chart indicates at a glance where the organization is excelling and where some attention may be needed.

Each area or spoke reports a number within a common range such as 0 to 10 or 0 to 5 indicating where that area falls in the relation to the degree of that which is being measured. Numbers reported in this range mean generally the same thing in each area. A 5 means the same in Best People for example as it does in Best Performance in regards to the level of compliance, performance, improvement or other measure.

We have illustrated the Spider plot on our Statit e-QC demo web as detailed in another article in this newsletter.

Each area’s number is then plotted on one spoke of the spider web. A line is drawn connecting each of the reports. As well as, a baseline and a target for each of the areas are plotted on the chart with a line connecting each of these.

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A quick glance will tell the viewer where the organization is excelling and where the there may be problems that need attention.

With Statit e-QC, the plotted points can drill down to another layer. The chart above was produced by clicking on the Best People node of the following chart.

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These tools can be important indicators for a Quality Improvement program is any organization. While the examples above illustrate some of the problem-solving strengths of these tools, they are both valuable in many situations. Think of what you can use these for in your own situation.