Automating Healthcare
Solving business problems with savvy automation

Supervisory Tree

Business problem
With constant staff turnover, keeping organization charts up to date is a problem for any company. Because "org charts" exist in isolation, they tend to be updated only periodically and are immediately outdated. The best solution is an automated process, dynamically building org charts from data already kept current for other reasons.

Using Supervisory Assignments
Perfect org charts show all the nuances of a real-world organization, including matrixed reporting relationships with "dotted-line" connections to multiple positions. Especially in a teaching hospital, organizational relationships can be rather complex. In an ideal world, all these relationships would be shown on up-to-date org charts.

In reality, org charts are not critical to daily operations, which dooms charts to periodic updating whenever an inspection process is due. We decided to use our supervisory assignments data to provide a basic org chart for the enterprise, despite two inherent weaknesses:

  • supervisory assignments only shows a primary supervisory relationship, ignoring any secondary/matrixed relationships; and,
  • supervisory assignments may not be completely accurate because of the way automated assignments work.

However, the supervisory assignment data are "good enough" for most purposes, including a supervisory tree showing at least the basic outline of the enterprise's structure.

Initial view
The supervisory tree automatically displays the current user's position in the tree. For example, the image below displays my link in the supervisory tree. The checkboxes with checks are the ones that are expanded, and the current user (my name) is displayed in bold.

A checkbox indicates additional levels below that name. Clicking any empty checkbox expands the view below that name, displaying the next level in the hierarchy (shown below). This make it easy to drill down through all levels in a supervisory tree.

To see detailed information on any individual, simply click the person's name (shown below) and People Profiles opens to that person (click the image below).

Steve Carter's profile

Instructions at the bottom of the supervisory tree explain how the process works (shown below)

Another handy tool shows the "span of control" for any supervisor. This is a report that opens in Excel, counting the number of direct reports and total reports for each supervisor (shown below).


  • Although somewhat primitive, this tool has proved useful for the organization. It is always current, and requires no additional effort to maintain.
  • This offers another example of "repurposing" previous work to extract maximum value.

Lessons learned

  • "Good enough" is OK. Although this supervisory tree cannot show the nuances of the full org chart, it provides enough context to be useful when trying to see where an individual fits into the organization.

Posted 28 June 2008


Custom Applications
ADT Event Alerts
Clinical Operations

Integrated Clerkship

On-call Schedules
People Profiles
Chronic Disease

Security Badge Requests
Charge Capture
Mental Health Treatment
      Plan Tracking

Earned Time Calculator

Supervisory Tree
E-mail Distribution Lists
User Access Requests
HR Requests
Employee Health &

Interpreter Dispatching
Generic Patient Registry
Conference Room

Tuition Reimbursement
Equipment Rental
Code Cart Tracking
Nursing Audits

Show me the data
Growing a Data

Building a Data Portal
Reporting on Full Auto

Intranet Design
Driving With Databases
Speeding with Static

Transparent Security
      and Permissions

Redesigning the

Who works here?
Organizational buckets
System access: Who
      has what?

System access: Use
      it or lose it

Integrating Security

Integrating Provider

Creating A Supervisory

Data Quality Dashboard


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