Society for Health Systems Newsletter
January 2014 Society for Health Systems website
Register now  for the 26th Annual Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, Feb. 21-24, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. This conference will feature best practices for healthcare industry decision makers and providers seeking ways to lower costs and increase service.  Don't miss it! 
Joanie Ching, RN MN, Administrative Director of Quality and Safety, blogs about how Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle is abandoning batch administration of medications to improve patient safety. By going to just-in-time medication administration, nursing workload has been leveled, medication errors have been reduced, and nurses are better able to respond to patient needs.

Editor's note: Workload leveling and smaller batch size, like many other "Lean tools", are industrial engineering concepts that have been well understood for many decades. It appears that a Lean approach has helped Virginia Mason to discover the benefits in this novel application.

By Hany Y Atallah, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine, Grady Health Systems and Eva K Lee, PhD, Director, Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare

The authors of this presentation describe how industrial engineering research improved patient access and reduced cost by applying a machine learning simulation approach at Grady Health System in Atlanta.

Lean Six Sigma tools improve more than turn-around-time for ED blood draws


By Tedd Karr, Vidant Medical Center, Janet Sander, Ph.D, East Carolina University


This case study from the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference presents the analysis of the ED-LAB blood draw system for a large tertiary teaching hospital.  
Paper | Presentation

New SHS Diplomates! 

SHS is delighted to honor the following members as Diplomates: Dr. Toni Doolen, Dr. Nancy Daraiseh, Robert Rankin, Dr. Evelyn Brown, Dr. Jeffrey W. Herrmann. Congratulations! We are proud to recognize you with this elite status for your many contributions to IE and healthcare community!  Read bios

To know more about other SHS Diplomates and the application process, go here   

Feds eye crackdown on cut-and-paste EHR fraud


A recent article in Modern Healthcare cites that with the broader adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) the cost of Medicare claims has increased. CMS is investigating whether cut-and-paste features of some of the new EHRs is contributing to either fraudulent and inadvertent up-coding by charging for services that were never provided.

ISE senior design projects offer innovative solutions to industrial challenges


By Anastasia Millicker


Industrial and systems engineering students at Rutgers University completed a number of senior projects with potential high impact including a hand prosthetic that uses much less energy than current devices and a medicine dispensing machine that improves nursing workflows, inventory management, and documentation.

Sepsis Toolkit, Sepsis Program Implementation Guide for NSW Healthcare Facilities

Sepsis continues to be a disease with high mortality, low clinical standard adherence, and high cost variation for many healthcare organizations. This Sepsis Toolkit from down under may be a useful reference for organizations looking to improve the quality of care for treating sepsis.

2014 IIE Annual Conference Chairs named

Please join us in congratulating Amanda Mewborn and Mary Ellen Skeens for being selected to serve as the track chair and co-chair, respectively, for the Health Systems Applied Solutions track at the 2014 IIE Annual Conference.  In these leadership roles, Mewborn and Skeens will be responsible for spearheading the logistics and selecting the conference presentations. 

Read more about Amanda and Mary Ellen 


Amanda Mewborn 
Mary Ellen Skeens

How's the health of your state?


The America's Health Rankings website has an interactive map that shows the relative status by state for a number of health-related conditions and environmental factors including overall death rate, incidence of cancer and STDs, and levels of pollution.

Organizing for systemwide improvement - Cutting costs without cutting corners: Lessons from Banner Health

By Dennis Dahlen and Curt Bailey, Harvard Business Review Blog 

There are two keys to successful cost-cutting in healthcare: the first - necessary but not sufficient - is to apply proven tools and tactics from industrial engineering, lean, Six Sigma, and business process reengineering; the second is to align the initiative with the organization's mission and culture and engage clinical and administrative staff across the organization to collaborate in the process. This post from the HBR Blog Network describes how Banner Health, one of the nation's largest health systems, did it.

Upcoming webinar

Modeling the Inpatient Resource Utilization of Chronic Dialysis Patients: A Case Study in Operational Modeling

Jan. 16 | 2 p.m. Eastern time 


Presenter: Shoshana Hahn-Goldberg, post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Innovation in Complex Care

Chronic dialysis patients require not only ambulatory but also      emergent and inpatient care, which is considered to be unpredictable. The aims of this study were to characterize and quantify the main predictors of inpatient use of chronic dialysis patients, validate the predictors using mathematical modeling, and test scenarios representing opportunities for reducing inpatient utilization.


More information and registration 

SHS Member Milestones  

Congratulations! Please join us in congratulating members for their continued service and membership with the Society for Health Systems. These members have completed milestone years of service to the society in the month of November or December 2013.  

New Six Sigma Black Belts!

SHS is delighted to honor Derek Murray and John Jackson as certified Six Sigma black belts. 

             Derek Murray                        John Jackson
We are proud to recognize you with this elite status to the IE and healthcare community!  Read more about Derek and John
Call for Papers - International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) 

The 2014 Triennial Conference will be held in Barcelona, Spain, July 13-18. It will bring operational researchers from around the globe together.
Abstract submission opens:              Nov. 1, 2013  
Abstract submission closes:             Jan. 31, 2014 

For more information contact:

Tarun Mohan Lal ,Health Systems Engineering Analyst Systems & Procedures, Mayo Clinic, (507) 266-9842

Thanks! SHS Newsletter Team
Swati Verma | Amanda Baty | Tze ChaoChiam | Avinash Konkani |
Lauren Milne | Bart Sellers, interim editor


Now recruiting SHS Newsletter volunteers!
The SHS Newsletter team is looking for volunteers.To find out more about volunteer opportunities, contact Bart Sellers, SHS Newsletter editor. 
Welcome new members!

 new members to our community! 


Thank you for joining us; we look forward to collaborating with you.




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!


  IIE Training Center Logo


Jan 15   


(Norcross, GA)

Jan 21   

Design of Experiments (Norcross, GA)


 Jan 27   

Six Sigma Black Belt - Los Angeles

(Los Angeles, CA)  


 Jan 28  

 Six Sigma Green Belt for Process Improvement

(Norcross, GA)


Jan 28  

 Six Sigma Green Belt for Healthcare

(Norcross, GA)

IIE Courses can be customized to meet your company's needs through IIE's Corporate Training Program. 
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.


Register NOW!

Quick Links