Society for Health Systems Newsletter
June 2013 Society for Health Systems website

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Institute of Industrial Engineers
By Sam Waserman and Chantal Keough of Jewish General Hospital; Valerie Vandal, Vedat Verter, Ph.D., and Lawrence Rosenberg of McGill University; and Philip Troy, Ph.D., of Troyware 


To improve revenues, the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital needed to determine the financial viability of particular surgical procedures. This presentation discusses how the hospital used TDABC to determine costs, utilization, and potential process improvements for cataract surgeries to determine whether it should do more or less of them. The approach can be applied to other surgical specialties to identify areas of opportunities and priorities.

Long waits in the waiting room, patients leaving without being seen, patients boarding and holding in the ED, delayed test results, and diversions. Have you encountered these issues in your ED? This presentation from a prior SHS Conference highlights improvements through several ED projects at HCA and will provide you with a sample of the tools utilized, results, best practices, and lessons learned.

This presentation covers many aspects of quality improvement in the pharmacy with a focus on improving flow. This presentation covers the project from the lean aspect as well as information technology, facility redesign, and human factors.

Driving unwarranted clinical variation out of a hospital: Key strategies

By Molly Gamble, Becker's Hospital Review 

This article is a summary of the discussion from a webinar hosted by Becker's Hospital Review with experts from Objective Health, a McKinsey Solution, on strategies for hospitals to reduce unwarranted clinical variation. The strategies and analyses presented in the webinar focused on hospitals' unwarranted variation, which involves treatment protocols, physicians' clinical supply choices and resource utilization. The article also provides links to view or download the webinar as well as a copy of the presentation.

This website describes a robust healthcare systems improvement program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich. The program has been awarded more than $4 million in research since 2009 in collaboration with many hospitals, government, and other private organizations. In addition to research, the website describes a number of projects completed over the last several years.

Complexities in the operating room - Focus on OR turnover time

By Patrick Garner, UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore Surgery Department


Identifying the areas of improvement in an effort to reduce operation room turnaround time and the inaccuracy of surgery scheduling is explored through case study examples including first person observations from the University of Pittsburgh Industrial Engineering case study at UPMC Presbyterian and Montefiore Surgery Departments. This article was previously published in the Proceedings of the 2012 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. 

How systems engineering can improve healthcare technology?


The March/April-2013 issue of AAMI's peer reviewed journal Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology (BI&T) has a cover story on Systems Engineering applications in Healthcare Technology Management. "Many of the challenges in healthcare are the same challenges other industries have faced decades ago," says Pat Baird, an engineering director with Baxter Healthcare Corporation. "Healthcare needs to catch up, and I think that 'systems thinking' could help speed the process."


Nursing, engineering blend to seek greater healthcare efficiency - The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Dr. M. Peggy Hays, associate professor in the UAH College of Nursing, and Dr. Sampson Gholston, associate professor in Industrial and & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, are incorporating research they've done at a local healthcare facility to develop a proposed UAH course to teach healthcare professionals about using industrial Lean Six Sigma practices in their facilities.


"What we're finding is that hospital administrators either learn Lean Six Sigma, or they go out and hire people who know Lean Six Sigma in order to apply their experience to a hospital setting," Dr. Gholston said. "The goal of the new course would be to train existing administrators and nursing staff to interpret data and implement process changes that improve efficiencies and boost patient satisfaction."

SHS wants you!

The SHS website is a fabulous resource for all things about healthcare process system improvement. It's the purple Tools and Resources button on the SHS homepage.

SHS Home Page    

Most of this content has been contributed by SHS members over the last decade with more content being added all the time. Much of the content for this knowledge library was originally submitted as features for the newsletter.

So, do you have a recent case study, analytical tool, improved method, presentation, or paper that you have prepared in your work or study? If so, please consider submitting your work to SHS Newsletter.

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Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team
Swati Verma | Amanda Baty | Tze Chao Chiam | Avinash Konkani
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. 

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