Society for Health Systems Newsletter 

  June 2011                                                                        Visit the Society for Health Systems Website     

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The SHS newsletter team is always on the lookout for new content relevant to professionals working in the healthcare improvement field. To contribute articles, interviews, book reviews, presentations, or to make staff aware of members in the news, ideas for future content, or other newsworthy content please contact Bart Sellers.


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Feb. 18-21, 2012 

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 Doug Long - Corporate Partnership

Management Engineering Consulting Services at Shands Healthcare

Rudy Santacroce, PE DSHS, gave a presentation at the 2011 SHS conference on the inner workings of Management Engineering Consulting Services (MECS) at Shands HealthCare in Florida.  SHS recently interviewed Rudy to get more details about this long-standing successful program.

To see the original presentation, Leading Effective Management Engineering Departments in Today's Dynamic Healthcare Environment, presented at the SHS 2011 conference, click here.

 To read the follow-up interview click here  


Assessing readiness for lean change in emergency departments

In a paper presented at the 2010 Industrial Engineering Research Conference, researchers at North Carolina State University provide insight into key issues for the early stages of Lean implementation in an Emergency Department based on literature review, practical observations, data collection, and results from a survey instrument developed to assess readiness for change.

To read the entire paper click here.


Participate in this month's survey!
Reader Survey Question of the Month

June Question of the Month: Have incentives and penalties around EHR Meaningful Use and Value Based Purchasing changed the focus of improvement efforts in your organization?


Click here to participate in poll (bottom right-hand corner of page).

The results are in! May Question of the Month: Which best describes the role of improvement specialists in your organization working on team-based projects?
Of those responding:
Facilitator/Coach             29%
Team Leader                     6%
Both of the above            47%
None of the above           18%  

Kaiser Permanente learns from the Navy how to improve hand-offs

A Los Angeles Times article describes how Kaiser Permanente has adopted principles from the Navy to reduce communication errors leading to adverse events.Doug Bonacum, vice president of safety management at Kaiser, is a nuclear engineer and former Navy submariner. He is introducing the same techniques he learned in the military for hand-offs to physicians.

To read the whole article, click here. 


Lab costs per patient day drop 27 percent by sharing cost information with physicians

A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that researchers from Brown University and the University of Miami found that providing cost information for common blood tests to physicians dramatically reduced utilization. The 11 week study done at Rhode Island Hospital resulted in reducing lab costs from $148 to $108 per patient day for non-critical care patients. The research appears in the May issue of Archives of Surgery. To read the entire article click here.


New England Journal of Medicine reports on VA study that dramatically reduces deadly MRSA infections

Teaming up with the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the VA developed and implemented a number of process improvements to reduce potentially deadly MRSA infections. The process improvements included universal nasal surveillance for MRSA colonization, contact precautions for patients known to carry MRSA, improved hand hygiene, and reinforcement of a culture of accountability for everyone that contacts patients. Results of the study show an infection rate drop of 60 percent on surgical units and 75 percent on surgical intensive care units over the 4 year study.To read the entire article click here.





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SHS Member of

     the Month    


John Cook

John Cook 


Volunteering: While being a member of SHS for more than seven years, John has been a past SHS Board member.  He routinely staffs the SHS Booth at HIMSS, which is imperative for SHS to recruit members at the HIMSS conference.


Participation: John is an active participant supporting students in the Region 6 IIE Chapter as the Advisor to the student committee and won the 2009 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Recognition Award for the region. He has acted as Chair of the Student/Academic Committee of SHS and has been a consistent attendee of the SHS Annual Meeting.  He has been willing to participate in the SHS DOME focus group.


Service: John is passionate about healthcare and is an active supporter of SHS with students.  He continues to mentor students and Board members based on past experience.  He has attended many "Past President" meetings in the past year as SHS needed the historical perspective in order to readily move forward with mission and vision.





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Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team

Tom Best
Eric Buchanan
Sara Falkiwicz
Alina Hsu
Junell Scheeres

Bart Sellers

Interim Editor