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The future of healthcare

HSPI Conference keynote panels address innovation, access and diagnostic error
Two keynote panel discussions – one on a pair of Institute of Medicine reports, the other on strategic themes shaping the future of healthcare delivery – will highlight the Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2016.

Keynote panel sessions bring together national leaders to discuss specific subjects. They are a bit different from traditional panel discussions because they are held in the main conference room so every conference-goer can attend.

The first keynote panel session is scheduled from 12:15 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. Feb. 18. Janine Kamath, the chair of Enterprise Systems and Procedures, the Mayo Clinic’s internal business consulting and management engineering group, and Victoria Jordan of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will talk about how hospitals and health systems need to adopt innovative and value-added approaches to move to the next level of care delivery. They will focus on new models of care that will need to delight consumers.

The second keynote panel session will be held from 2:35 p.m. to 3:55 p.m. Feb. 19. Panelists will discuss the IOM reports on access to care (“Transforming Health Care Scheduling and Access: Getting to Now”) and diagnostic error (“Improving Diagnosis in Health Care”).

Both reports, released last year, emphasized the role that systems approaches and industrial engineering can contribute in addressing these problems.

Timeliness in providing access to healthcare varies widely and has multiple consequences that affect patient satisfaction, outcomes and utilization. Diagnostic errors are estimated to contribute to about 10 percent of patient deaths, 6 percent to 17 percent of hospital adverse events – and they are the leading type of paid medical malpractice claims. James Benneyan, director of the Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute at Northeastern University, will lead the panel discussion.

The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference 2016, sponsored by IIE’s Society for Health Systems, takes place Feb. 17-19 at the Hilton Americas-Houston in Houston. Registration and more information are available at

An interview with Gary Kaplan, a coauthor of the IOM report “Transforming Health Care Scheduling and Access: Getting to Now,” is in The Front Line department on Page 12.

Volunteer Snapshot

Less paperwork, more golf

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Robert Williams leaves IIE parliamentarian post after decades of service
Robert Williams’ life is moving away from bylaws and constitutions toward more golf.

Williams, a retired Ohio University industrial engineering professor, is in the process of leaving his post as IIE parliamentarian. For 25 years he reviewed the constitutions and bylaws of proposed chapters, university and professional, to make sure everything was in order. Once everything was to his liking, the new or resurrected chapters could become reality.

“[There’ve] been a ton of chapters – I’ve not counted them – that have either started or changed their constitution and bylaws and need the blessing of the institute.”

Once or twice, Williams was even called to handle questions about IIE’s constitution, he said. While he’s still working with a few chapters during the transition, Joe Wilck has taken over his parliamentarian gig.

Recently, Williams noted, many of the new chapters have been cropping up in the Middle East and Latin America, increasing IIE’s stature as an international organization.

“We used to say that and I wasn’t sure it was true, but it certainly is now,” Williams said.

Williams got involved with IIE as an undergrad at The Ohio State University and “really didn’t leave that world,” he said. He spent time as an advisor to the Ohio University student chapter and also led the group that put together an industrial engineering terminology manual through IIE.

Williams said working with students in the university chapters kept him young and fit. He enjoyed the students’ fresh attitudes, techniques and tools, along with using his IIE contacts to help them with counseling and their job searches.

Like many, he started out in mechanical engineering before evolving to industrial engineering.

“The design of machinery was not as interesting as the design of how the machinery fit in all of the industrial systems, the supply chain, the people, the whole mishmash of things that it takes to get a product out the door,” he said.

He sees industrial engineering continuing its path toward systems engineering and computer-controlled processes and applications.

“I’ve seen the emphasis change from the shop floor mentality to systems to departments and companies that need to interact with each other and try to model some of that,” Williams said. “It’s really industrial engineering still but with a computer aspect.”

Now, he plans to pay more attention to putting little white balls into holes in the ground. He has played golf courses on Tobacco Road in North Carolina, in Egypt at the Pyramids and St. Andrews in Scotland, the most famous golf course in the world.

“I’m 82 now, so it’s time to look to other things to keep my mental health well and physical health in good shape,” Williams said.

Delve into hoshin kanri, human error

IIE Annual's pre-conference workshops also examine collected quality tools

IIE’s tradition of pre-conference workshops gives attendees the chance to delve deeper into subjects, building skills and learning tools that enhance their careers, and the IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2016 is no different.

The three pre-conference sessions will examine hoshin kanri, minimizing human error and a collection of seven problem-solving IE tools. The conference is scheduled for May 21-24 at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim, California. The pre-conference workshops, which also offer the opportunity to earn continuing education units and professional development hours, are May 21.

Strategic Lean Six Sigma Implementation using Hoshin Kanri: Beth Cudney of the Missouri University of Science and Technology will detail how hoshin kanri can systematically implement lean and Six Sigma throughout an enterprise. The hoshin kanri technique, though developed in Japan, is based on W. Edwards Deming’s plan-do-check-act improvement cycle. It drives the organization’s long-term strategic vision of the organization down through all levels, and Japanese winners of the Deming Prize credit the tool as a key contributor to their success.

Error Proof – How to Understand and Minimize Daily Human Errors: Industrial Engineer’s performance columnist Kevin McManus of Great Systems will show how to apply multiple best-in-class work system designs and practices to accelerate performance improvement efforts. McManus examines how various organizations, from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight team to oil field workers, achieve error-free rates generally considered unobtainable in other endeavors. McManus also will demonstrate how to develop a prioritized error-proofing plan

The Sevens (A Collection of Quality-Related, Problem-Solving Tools Frequently Used by Industrial Engineers to Assist Their Internal and External Clients): Jack B. ReVelle of ReVelle Solutions will introduce multiple groupings of problem-solving tools and techniques and demonstrate how the output of one tool becomes the input to another tool in the same group. The seven groupings are the seven quality control tools, the seven management and planning tools, the seven team support tools, the seven supplemental tools, the seven creativity tools, the seven lean Six Sigma tools and the seven design and development tools.

To register and find more information about the conference, visit Early-bird registration, which can save you $170, ends April 8.


Celebrate member achievements

Senior IIE member Joe Michels has been appointed as the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) representative on the American Association of Engineering Society’s (AAES) Professional Licensure Working Group. Michels, managing principal at Solomon Bruce Consulting LLC, also will serve on NSPE’s Committee on Policy and Advocacy.
/uploadedImages/IE_Magazine/2016_02/Content/InstituteHelmut-Welke.jpg Helmut Welke is now a manufacturing and warehousing consultant at Welke International LLC specializing in lean material flow. He formerly was a corporate competency lead, material flow, for Deere and Co. Welke serves on the board for SEMS (Society for Engineering and Management Systems) and in 2012 was named a fellow of IIE.
/uploadedImages/IE_Magazine/2016_02/Content/InstituteMichael-Kimball.jpg Michael Kimball has been named founding director of management engineering at St. Luke’s University Health Network. This position entails improving workflow and scheduling practices within healthcare delivery. Previously, Kimball was a senior management engineer at Lehigh Valley Health Network.
/uploadedImages/IE_Magazine/2016_02/Content/InstituteRaymond-Muscat.jpg Raymond Muscat has been named industry director for the University of Michigan Tauber Institute for Global Operations. Muscat, whose 37-year corporate career includes experiences in the automotive, defense electronics, aerospace and office furniture industries, will participate in strategic planning and lead strategic initiatives for the institute.


Let your peers know about hirings, promotions, awards, appointments and other notable accomplishments. Send Kudos items to Michael Hughes at

Journal aims to add clinical aspect


Teresa Wu takes over IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering

Teresa Wu aims to reach out to front-line healthcare professionals to integrate them into research during her time as editor-in-chief of IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering.

Wu, whose four-year term started Jan. 1, said industrial engineering has an impressive methodology and toolkit, but the journal’s first five years has been “very local,” concentrated within the IE community. She is pondering a plan to add physicians, healthcare managers and other research scientists to the journal’s editorial board.

The industrial engineering professor in Arizona State University’s School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering envisions sending, for example, a paper on computer-aided diagnosis to a physician and inquiring about potential clinical issues. The physician could write a short paragraph about the research, which would be included in the journal.

“If you are simply doing this research in your office, in your lab, you have this formulation, have these measures. You're really going to reach out and say maybe you’re not at the stage to test it [in a] clinical study,” Wu said. “But it will be good to get some feedback from the clinical aspect, what they think about it, so that will help the researchers from IE to tailor their scope moving forward.”

Such bidirectional interaction will break down silos and help the journal in its key mission of tying IE tools into the process of improving healthcare outcomes.

Wu took over from John Fowler, who helmed IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering during its first five years. Fowler, also an industrial engineering professor at Arizona State, said Wu will build on the journal’s strong foundation.

“Her appreciation of the entire spectrum of industrial engineering tools and techniques, along with her academic and healthcare accomplishments, make her the perfect choice to be the next editor-in-chief,” Fowler said.

For more information about IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering and IIE’s other publications, visit

Building your own ergo program

Specialized certificate gives AEC 2016 attendees the necessary know-how

Institute Photo 4The Applied Ergonomics Conference 2016 will provide a new feature to help attendees learn how to build a strong ergonomics program when they return to their jobs.

This year’s Round Table and Master Track sessions are tied together, and those who attend four of the seven sessions will receive a certificate. The sessions are geared toward developing and sustaining an ergonomics program in your organization, including creating an ergonomics culture as well as assessing hazards, risks and effectiveness.

There are two parts to the Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders session and the Manual Material Handling session. Participants are encouraged to attend both parts of one session rather than mixing and matching.

The Round Table and Master Track sessions are:

  • Designing and Building an Ergo Program: Moderator Brad Joseph of Ford Motor Co. covers elements of ergonomics programs, assessment of the current state and developing strategies for the future state.
  • Creating an Ergonomics Culture: Moderators Davana Pilczuk of Gulfstream Aerospace and Stephen Jenkins of Cintas cover benchmarking, sharing and networking with other companies; examining your program’s progress; and new ideas to change your organizational culture.
  • Upper Extremity Musculoskeletal Disorders – Assessing Hazards and Risks on Upper Extremity Intensive Jobs: In part one of this two-part session, attendees will learn how to define upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSDs); illustrate their relationship and impact to hazards such as force, frequency and posture; and learn about three simple ergonomic assessment tools for UEMSD. Part two will have attendees use the ergonomic assessment tools for UEMSD in a real case study.
  • Manual Material Handling – Assessing Hazards and Risks on Material Handling Jobs: Part one of this two-part session will define upper low back disorders as well as review three simple ergonomic assessment tools for manual material handling tasks. Part two will have participants use manual material handling ergonomic tools in a real case study.
  • Expert Q&A: This session is a highly interactive group discussion regarding industrial ergonomics questions and applications. Participants are encouraged to bring a question or situation they would like answered. Questions will be randomly chosen, and then the group will discuss and answer the questions in a group setting. Participant level is moderate to advanced.

AEC 2016 is scheduled for March 21-24 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Registration and other conference details are available at