Heatmap, a Visual Tool for Comparative Analytics

through collaborative high quality data management and actionable comparative reports

VPS has incorporated a Heatmap into the on-demand VPS reports. The tool shows a visual comparison of multiple metrics among other hospitals in one snapshot. Metrics where low/high values are associated with low/high clinical or operational performance (i.e. length of stay) are called directional. Metrics where clinical meaning is linked to a comparison against a reference standard practice (i.e. unscheduled readmission rate) are called relative variables.


In its current form, the Heatmap ignores correlations between the metrics displayed and overlaps between individual metric distributions. The set of metrics used to build the Heatmap were selected by an expert panel of VPS clinicians. The placement of the cells along the percentile ranges use mean values or percentages of the metrics.

Directional and relative variables are displayed separately as diverging colors (Figure 1) and blue monochrome (Figure 2), respectively. Their individual contributions are combined into a global score which ranks the unit’s performance (Table 1). The relative variables show plus/minus signs indicating whether a unit fell above or below a reference standard of care, defined as a five-year average from the whole VPS registry.

Figure 1. Heatmap for Directional Variables

Figure 2. Heatmap for Relative Variables

© Virtual Pediatric Systems LLC 2021
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