Society for Health Systems Newsletter 

  August 2011                                                                        Visit the Society for Health Systems Website     

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Upcoming Seminars

Aug. 10-12

Mayo Clinic Conference on Systems Engineering & Operations Research in Healthcare

Rochester, Minn.


Sept. 12-14

Six Sigma Green Belt for Healthcare

 Norcross, GA


Contribute to 

the Newsletter!

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.


SHS online/ondemand 


 Doug Long - Corporate Partnership

2012 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference

Feb. 18-21, 2012

Las Vegas, Nev.


Submit your abstract NOW!


Sponsored by the Society for Health Systems

A crash course in healthcare systems engineering


By Sandra Garrett, Ph.D. and Samantha Sissel, Clemson University


In this presentation at the 2011 SHS conference, Sandra Garrett and Samantha Sissel provide an overview of current challenges to healthcare delivery and how industrial engineers apply tools, techniques, and principles to address these challenges through examples. The presentation may be useful to anyone explaining the role of industrial engineers or other process improvement specialists in healthcare.


To view the presentation, click here.



Improving pediatric emergency department patient throughput and operational performance




Paul Kurtin, M.D., Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, Quality Management Department


Marc Etkin, M.D., Jim Harley, M.D., MPH., Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, Emergency Department, University of California San Diego, Department of Pediatrics


Lesley Ann Carlson, R.N., M.S.N., Lisa McDonough, B.S.N., R.N., C.E.N., C.P.E.N., Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, Emergency Department


Rachel Weber, M.S., Abbey Marquette, M.S., Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, Industrial Engineering Department


A multidisciplinary team working at the Rady Children's Hospital in

San Diego, Calif., was formed to improve ED throughput. Based on comprehensive variability analysis the team implemented a number of changes including daily performance reporting, a fast track for lower acuity patients, and standardized nurse and physician rounding. The changes resulted in a 10 percent lower length of stay and a 50 percent reduction in left without being seen. These changes are planned to improve revenue by $782,000 to be budgeted in the next fiscal year.


To read the entire article, click here.



Submit your abstract now through Aug. 19 for the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2012


It's not an overstatement to say that the future of healthcare depends to a large extent on successfully bridging clinical, operational, and financial performance. In fact, mastering these critical relationships may well be the most direct route to future success both for you and for your organization.


Share your success story, share your knowledge, and energize the attendees with the latest in proven tools, analyses, and methodologies to improve healthcare operations.


We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!


The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2012, sponsored by the Society for Health Systems, is your source for the latest in operational and quality improvement tools, methods and concepts such as lean, Six Sigma, productivity, benchmarking, simulation and project management.


Submit your abstract now!  



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

August Question of the Month: Does your organization hire newly graduated MHA/MBAs without prior executive experience into executive level positions?


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

The results are in! July Question of the Month: What best describes your organization's predominate approach to improvement projects? Check all that apply.
Of those responding:


Rapid Improvement Events lasting three to five days with associated planning and follow-up



Projects usually take several weeks



No standard approach to improvement projects





Undergraduates in action - Utilizing lean techniques for improved patient and information flow, UMass Memorial Hospital



By Brandon Cooney, Zachary Roche, and Alyssa Xarras,

Worcester Polytechnical University, University of Massachusetts


Students at Worcester Polytechnical University and in coordination with UMass' Center for Innovation and Transformational Change examined how lean tools can eliminate non-value added work, improve resource management, and create lean flow at the UMass Memorial Hospital. After implementing a number of changes, the team saw a reduction in patient throughput time, elimination of defects in the chart tracking process, and a decrease in stocked inventory.


To read the entire paper, 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 Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to



Meaningful Use: a brief overview for Society of Health Systems


By Kevin Martin, member of the SHS Tools and Content Committee


Prevailing misperception is that implementing any EHR complies with HITECH ACT requirements and incentive qualification. EHR implementation is only one part of meaningful use. Meaningful Use depends on workflow, evidence based clinical practice, measurement and reporting. In this presentation prepared for SHS by Kevin Martin, meaningful use is described along with the practical applications for organizations providing clinical care.


To view the presentation, click here.


Tools and Content Committee Chairperson: Dan France 


Cowboys and pit crews: 2011 Harvard Medical School commencement address


By Atul Gawande, M.D. 


Popular author and speaker, Atul Gawande, challenged the 200 graduates of the 2011 Harvard Medical School to pursue a more systematic approach to delivering healthcare. He used pit crews and cowboys as examples of working as a system. In his closing statement, Gawande provides a description of the system cowboys work in, "They have tightly organized teams, with everyone assigned specific positions and communicating with each other constantly. They have protocols and checklists for bad weather, emergencies, the inoculations they must dispense. Even the cowboys, it turns out, function like pit crews now. It may be time for us to join them."


To read the entire article, click here.



Survey of academic healthcare industrial engineering related programs, courses and research


Greetings SHS members! The Academic/Student SHS committee is working on developing the Student SHS website page, and we are looking to include the universities and colleges that teach healthcare industrial engineering courses and complete industrial research in healthcare related areas. To gather this information, we have created an online survey that should take approximately five minutes to complete. If you are part of a university or college that is currently teaching and researching healthcare and would like to be included in the website update, please complete the survey.


To access survey, click here.





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SHS Member of

the Month

Narges Hosseini

Narges Hosseini


Narges is a doctoral candidate at Clemson University and has been an active member of the SHS 
Academic/Student Committee for the last two years. She was integral in the creation of the SHS conference student mentoring program. The program has been very successful and continues to receive positive reviews from both mentors and students. She recently spearheaded the creation of a new SHS academic webinar series which began in July 2011. These webinars allow researchers the opportunity to share their research and endeavors with other SHS members and academicians.




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Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team

Tom Best
Eric Buchanan
Sara Falkiwicz
Alina Hsu
Junell Scheeres
Bart Sellers

Interim Editor


Are you

LinkedIn® yet?

by Junell Scheeres, president,

LS2 Performance Solutions


Click here to learn how healthcare performance
 improvement professionals can join in and enjoy the advantages of the

SHS LinkedIn® Group.