Society for Health Systems Newsletter
October 2013 Society for Health Systems website
Member Recognition -  ASHLEY J. BENEDICT, Ph.D.                  

Ashley Benedict recently took the position of system redesign coordinator for the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8), the nation's largest system of hospitals and clinics serving a population of more than 1.6 million veterans. She will be leading improvement within VISN 8 as they continue their journey to implement lean and data-driven solutions. Read more about Ashley

Implementation of a Hospital-Wide Labor Productivity Monitoring System; a Case Study  


By Rudy Santacroce, P.E. and Brandon Charette, Shands Healthcare


This presentation at the 2013 SHS Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference describes how UF and Shands launched a major initiative to develop a labor productivity system to right-size the organization and to provide a sustainable tool to department directors helping them manage resources. In the last few years, many healthcare organizations are moving forward with in-house labor productivity systems; this presentation will highlight the journey of a Management Engineering department's efforts to partner with a third-party consulting team to develop a tool, reconcile it, educate department leaders, and implement for the organization.

Visualizing Conversation Structure across Time: Insights into Effective Doctor-Patient Consultations


By Daniel Angus, Bernadette Watson, Andrew Smith, Cindy Gallois, and Janet Wiles


Effective communication between healthcare professionals and patients is critical to patients' health outcomes. The doctor/patient dialogue has been extensively researched from different perspectives, with findings emphasizing a range of behaviors that lead to effective communication. Much research involves self-reports, however, so that behavioral engagement cannot be disentangled from patients' ratings of effectiveness. In this study we used a highly efficient and time economic automated computer visualization measurement technique called Discursis to analyze conversational behavior in consultations. Discursis automatically builds an internal language model from a transcript, mines the transcript for its conceptual content, and generates an interactive visual account of the discourse. The resultant visual account of the whole consultation can be analyzed for patterns of engagement between interactants. The findings from this study show that Discursis is effective at highlighting a range of consultation techniques, including communication accommodation, engagement and repetition,
Enter the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference Graduate Student Paper Competition 

The Society for Health Systems (SHS) is pleased to announce the 2014 graduate student paper competition, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. Describe how industrial engineering skills were applied to a problem arising in healthcare systems engineering, either through applied projects, research results, case studies, class projects or other work efforts. Paper submissions
 submission deadline is Nov. 30.


The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, Feb. 21-24, 2014, in Orlando, Fla., will also feature a Student Case Study Competition. More details will be announced in the coming months.

This online article describes capacity improvement at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) catheterization lab. The cath lab is a particularly challenging environment because of high-volume, high-mix, and the need to meet scheduled, emergent, and urgent patient needs.

 Here's how a Cincinnati ER cut its wait time by 70 percent - The Cincinnati Business Courier


Dr. Stephen Feagins, vice president of medical affairs, describes how ER wait times were reduced by 70 percent at Mercy Health's Anderson Hospital in an interview with the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Upcoming webinar
Presented by SHS - Free for SHS members, $39 for non-members


Lean, Mean, Meaningful Use Machine: Implications of the Electronic Health Record for Quality and Performance Improvement
Oct. 17 | 2 p.m.  Eastern time


Amy Thorpe and Liz Richard, Encore Health Resources


The world of quality reporting and performance measurement has grown more complex during the past 10 years since the initial introduction of quality reporting for hospitals and physicians. This webinar will review the requirements for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of meaningful use and will also explore the impact to clinical workflow and the requirements for the reporting of electronic clinical quality measures.

SHS member registration & information

Non-member registration & information

Local/Regional networking events


Sponsored by the Society for Health Systems
Atlanta area networking session and panel discussion   
Friday, Oct. 11 | 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (EDT)
Maggiano's Little Italy | 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd | Atlanta
Register online


Sponsored by IIE Greater Detroit Chapter & Michigan  Lean Consortium

2013 Healthcare Symposium
Friday, Oct. 25 | 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EDT)
Detroit, Mich. 

Register online SHS Members pay the IIE member rate by using  Discount Rate Code: 8CD60XXX   


Other Educational Opportunities

Sponsored by the Society for Health Systems & Georgia Hospital Association

Virtual Conference - Best Practices in Applying Lean & Six Sigma in Healthcare

Friday, Oct. 23 -  9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT)

Learn more

Registered nurses' personality traits and work assignments

This presentation at the 2013 SHS Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference addresses the unique set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes for nurses in order to match individual nurses to various nursing roles. More and more, personality measures are being used to assess an individual's fit within various industries. Investigating the traits of registered nurses may provide a means to improving job performance, satisfaction and retention to meet the demands associated with nursing.

By David Belson, Ph.D., University of Southern California


Dr. David Belson describes various operations improvement methods used by management engineers in healthcare in this paper prepared for the California Healthcare Foundation.

A tool to improve mobility in hospitalized patients

This post on the HBR Blog Network describes a visual tool at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle that has accelerated patient mobility. Research has shown that early mobility is an important aspect for improved patient outcomes and shortened length of stay.

Nominations due Oct. 15 for the SHS-HIMSS Excellence in Healthcare Management Engineering/Process Improvement Award

The award will be presented to one individual annually, who in the opinion of the joint Boards of Directors, has best demonstrated leadership in implementing significant synergies between the process improvement and information technology professions. These contributions may be of a professional or technical nature, and may include research or development of improved processes (with or without technology), or exemplary contribution to the professional society. The nominee must be a member of both SHS and HIMSS.

Click here for the nomination form.

Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team
Swati Verma | Amanda Baty | Tze Chao Chiam | Avinash Konkani |
Lauren Milne
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. 
Call for nominations for the SHS Board of Directors

The SHS Nominating Committee is making a call for applications for two dynamic directors whose terms will begin Feb. 25, 2014. All nominees must be current, regular members of SHS. Students are not eligible. More details

SHS Social Media!


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


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

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