Society for Health Systems Newsletter 

  July 2011                                                                        Visit the Society for Health Systems Website     

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July 18-20   

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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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2012 SHS Conference

Feb. 18-21, 2012 

Las Vegas, Nevada


 Doug Long - Corporate Partnership

2011 SHS Conference Student Paper Winner: 'Improving inpatient discharge process to reduce readmission'

Vanda Ametlli; Industrial & Systems Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.


In this paper presented at the 2011 SHS conference in Orlando, Fla., Vanda Ametlli describes a DMAIC approach for reducing avoidable re-admissions. Vanda participated in a multidisciplinary team at the 290-bed Crittendon Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Mich., that implemented a number of interventions that resulted in reducing re-admissions by 22 percent.


To read the entire paper, click here.



Total productive maintenance in the OR - a case study at Kadlec Regional Medical Center

Dheeraj Ahuja, M.D., Ron Gullekson, and Aaron Kim

A team at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Wash., took a lean approach to improving the availability and reliability of anesthesia related equipment in the OR. The team included physicians, staff, and external consultants. The article describes the background of total productive maintenance and how it was applied by a multidisciplinary team including physicians, OR staff, and clinical engineering. 

To read the entire paper, click here.

To see the related photos, click here. 


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

July Question of the Month: What best describes your organization's predominate approach to improvement projects? 


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

The results are in! 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? 

Of those responding: 100 percent answered "yes."

How to ace your joint commission survey with lean


By Gerald Leone


In this Ezine article author Gerald Leone describes how lean tools and principles were successfully applied in preparation for a Joint Commission Survey. 


To read the entire article, click here.


Call for pictures: Your best before-and-after 5S pictures in healthcare


The newsletter is compiling before and after 5S pictures for members to see and use. Submissions should include a before-and-after picture with a brief caption describing the change. Multiple submissions are encouraged. Entries may include the name of the facility and provider's name. 


Please e-mail as an attachment using Word or PowerPoint to



Evaluation of industrial engineering students' competencies for process improvement in hospitals


By Lukasz Maciej Mazur, Shi-Jie (Gary) Chen


In an article recently published in the Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, the authors concluded that while IE students working in hospitals focused on technical approaches to improvement, mastery and application of softer skills may be more beneficial. 

To read the abstract, click here (subscription required for full article access).


SHS Academic Webinar Series


Webinar title: A new approach to sector duration optimization in Perfexion treatment planning


Date: Thursday, July 14, 1 p.m. Eastern time

Presenter: Hamid Ghaffari, B.S. and M.S. in pure mathematics from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran; Kimia Ghobadi, B.S. in applied mathematics from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

Summary: In this presentation the presenters propose a constraint generation interior point (CGIP) approach to solve the sector duration optimization (SDO) which arises in Gamma Knife Perfexion (PFX) inverse planning. PFX unit is specifically designed to treat tumors located in the head and neck by radiation that can be delivered through eight sectors, which each can deliver beams of three different sizes (or deliver no radiation) concentrating at a focal point called isocenter. The SDO problem is therefore to find the optimum time duration for each sector at each size in order to minimize the dose delivered to the critical structures around the target while ensuring the target structure receives a sufficient amount of radiation. The comparison of the solution time and the treatment quality of CGIP and projected gradient (PG) shows a significant improvement in computation time and treatment quality thatone can obtain in using CGIP.  


More information and registration







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SHS Member of

     the Month  


Heather Vass

Heather Vass


Heather is employed by Premier Inc. and is a volunteer on the SHS Membership Committee.  She did a great job in leading and developing the new SHS-only membership option her first year with the committee.  In addition to that, she stepped up to the plate and agreed to co-chair the committee this year. She has worked tirelessly to ensure the committee's success including spearheading the development of a membership survey which was a huge success (as judged by the response rate). Her leadership of the committee has been extemporary this year. Heather is a great SHS advocate as is proven by her continued support and leadership of the membership committee. Heather actively serves the membership of SHS through tireless efforts on the membership committee.





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Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team

Tom Best
Eric Buchanan
Sara Falkiwicz
Alina Hsu
Junell Scheeres

Bart Sellers

Interim Editor