Society for Health Systems Newsletter
November 2012Visit the Society for Health Systems website
Forecasting models of Emergency Department crowding

By Lisa M. Schweigler, M.D., MPH, M.S., Jeffrey S. Desmond, M.D., Melissa L. McCarthy, Sc.D., Kyle J. Bukowski, MBA, BSIE, Edward L. Ionides, Ph.D., and John G. Younger, M.D., M.S.


This paper, published by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, compares seasonally adjusted and sinusoidal models against historical hourly averages for 4 and 12 hour advance census forecasts. The authors conclude that the two more advanced methods are more robust than historical averages.

Call for papers: Health Systems Track 


The Society for Health Systems within the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) is sponsoring the Healthcare Systems Track at the 2013 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference (ISERC).  ISERC, which is part of the IIE Annual Conference and Expo, is a forum for exchanging knowledge and discoveries in the industrial and systems engineering research community.


Deadline for submissions: Nov. 7

For details, s
ee Call for Papers for Health Systems Track.

Guide to simulation concepts in healthcare
Daniel J. Barata, P.E., MBA, Efficiency Engineers

In this presentation, the author provides an overview of the use of simulation in healthcare where itis used to gain insights to improve patient flow, medical supply distribution and overall staff/resource utilization. He also points out that simulation enables a Lean/PI to team to view current states and modify future states of these processes in a dynamic and "safe" environment.

Continuous improvement methods better than best practices from the Joint Commission

In an online article
 in Hospitals and Health Network Daily, Haydn Bush describes how Mark Chassin, M.D., President of the Joint Commission, believes it may be time for hospitals to move away from best practices and adopt comprehensive improvement methods that allow for deeper, more specific analyses of their patient safety requirements. Dr. Chassin cites examples of multiple failure modes of various processes in different facilities that can't effectively be addressed by best practices alone.

IE's as leaders of change in healthcare

By Jim Brachulis

This presentation
 was recently given by SHS member, Jim Brachulis, to provide an overview of how IE's can be a change agent in improving healthcare delivery.

Radiation dose optimization for critical organs in interventional radiology

By Yasaman Khodadadegan, Muhong Zhang, Arizona State University School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems and William Pavlicek, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Department of Radiology


Yasaman Khodadadegan, an Industrial Engineering doctoral candidate, at the Arizona State University recently presented her research during the poster competition at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference in Phoenix. Her presentation on Guided Interventional Radiology received second place. The poster presents a Mixed-Integer formulation which determines the initial geometry and required energy for a procedure with respect to the image quality, while improving computation time and solution quality.

The role of continuous improvement in healthcare

By Eduardo Santiago, Ph.D., Minitab Inc.


This presentation at the 2012 Healthcare Systems Improvement Conference, provides a basic description of several lean tools and statistical methods for continuous improvement in healthcare.

Keynoters announced


It's not too early to start planning to attend the Society for Health Systems' Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference. And this year we're pleased to present two keynote speakers who are well-known experts in healthcare management. 

Roger Gerard, Ph.D., is an executive business partner at ThedaCare, a community health system in Wisconsin consisting of five hospitals, numerous clinics and related services. He also is the owner of Sloan & Gerard Consulting and co-authored the book, On the Mend, Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry. The book describes the Lean journey of the ThedaCare Health System.


Dr. Joseph S. Guarisco is chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and the System Chief of Emergency Services at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans.  Dr. Guarisco played a pivotal leadership role in quickly restoring emergency services to the New Orleans region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  His continued focus on methods to improve emergency services has resulted in improved speed, capacity, and quality provided by Ochsner Health System.


Join us in New Orleans, March 1-4 at The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel!



Patient handover from surgery to intensive care: Using Formula 1 pit-stop and aviation models to improve safety and quality

This article, in the British publication Pediatric Anesthesia, describes how patient safety can be improved using race car pit stop and aviation analogies based on a prospective study. A new handover protocol was developed that reduced technical and informational errors by up to 50 percent.

Tools for healthcare improvement - What tools can you share?

The newsletter committee wants to make Tools for Healthcare Improvement a regular feature with contributions from SHS members and SHS Newsletter readers. If you have a tool you've had sucess with, please share by e-mailing the tool with a short description to Tools for Healthcare Improvement.

Call for Nominations for Board of  Directors & President-Elect

IIE's Young Professionals Organization


IIE's Young Professionals Organization is looking to fill 5 Directors, 1 Regional Outreach Director, and 1 President-Elect position (7 total positions).  The Director roles will serve 1.5 or 2.5 year terms, beginning December 3rd, 2012. The President-Elect position will assume the President-Elect role in June 2013 and serve a 3 year term (President-Elect>President>Past President).


Anyone under 35 years of age at the time of term start can be nominated. You can nominate others or self-nominate using this nomination form 


Applications must be received by November 9, 2012.

Click here for more information on IIE's Young Professionals 

Questions? Contact
Natalie Keller

Society for Health Systems Student Paper Competition 2013


SHS is pleased to announce the 2013 Undergraduate and Graduate Student Paper Competitions.


Winning submissions will receive a $1,000 cash award and $500 per team for travel expenses to present their projects at the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2013 held March 1-4, 2013, in New Orleans, La. The submission deadline is Nov. 30, 2012.


Paper submissions can include multiple student authors and should describe applied projects, research results, case studies, class projects, or other work efforts in which Industrial Engineering skills were applied to a problem arising in Healthcare Systems Engineering. The first author on the paper must be a student.


Judging criteria are based on originality, technical merit, relevance, organization, and quality of the paper.


For further information and submission instructions please see

Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team
Junell Scheeres | Swati Verma | Amanda Baty
Bart Sellers, interim editor


Now recruiting SHS Newsletter volunteers!
The SHS Newsletter team is looking for volunteers to increase the quality, breadth, and depth of the monthly SHS Newsletter. Volunteers can fill many roles including identifying content, coordinating announcements from the other SHS committees, soliciting submissions, and generating original content. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, contact Bart Sellers, SHS Newsletter editor.

SHS Social Media!


Keep up to date with Society for Healthcare Systems through social media!


We are available on Facebook and Twitter, plus we have a blog!

Upcoming Webinar

Exploring the use of Quantitative Analysis in Healthcare

Nov. 16
11 a.m. Eastern time

 IIE Training Center Logo


Nov 26
(Norcross, GA)

IIE Courses can be customized to meet your company's needs through IIE's Corporate Training Program. 
Contact Larry Aft, P.E. (770) 349-1130

Six Sigma Green Belt For Healthcare


This introductory course in Six Sigma gives you a thorough understanding of Six Sigma as applied to healthcare.


The course is intended for individuals at all levels within the organization

and is shorter

 than many other Green Belt courses.


Register NOW!

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