Innovation, Creativity

Simulation in Healthcare Architecture Series No. 1

What can simulation do for your health system? Discrete event simulation is a powerful analysis tool that allows users to test different options with real data before a decision is made. While simulation can benefit various industries, this post focuses on the specific advantages of using it in healthcare facilities. Health systems can use simulation to answer questions about changes to processes, configurations or staffing levels. Without the aid of simulation, facilities often never make these changes because it would be too costly to reorder process steps or test new configurations.

Fancy hospitals often fail to impress patients

Hospital executives across the country have justified expensive renovation and expansion projects believing they will lead to better patient reviews and recommendations. Patient satisfaction has become even more important since Medicare started to base some of its reimbursement on patient surveys.

Use tracking tools to improve patient flows in hospitals

This article describes how real time patient tracking technology has improved patient flow through the use of case studies.

12 mobile health apps released by hospitals & health systems

Developers aren't the only entities releasing mobile Health (mHealth) apps. Hospitals and health systems are also tapping into the growing market. The article describes 12 mHealth apps that hospitals and health systems released, as reported by Becker's Hospital Review over the past four months.

The life of a healthcare CIO: St. Bernards Healthcare's Mark Odom

Just like many IEs in healthcare, Mark Odom started his career in manufacturing right out of college. He has found many valuable lessons from manufacturing that he now uses as the CIO of St. Benards Healthcare.

Healthcare's digital future: McKinsey & Company

Insights from the McKinsey & Company international survey can help your healthcare organizations plan their next moves in the journey toward full digitization. The authors believe the healthcare industry is on the cusp of a third wave of IT adoption and that now is the time for it to go all in on digital strategies. Understanding what patients want - and what is purely myth - can help pave the way.

Practice Fusion launches free real-time database

Cloud-based electronic health record vendor Practice Fusion has launched a continuously updated database of de-identified patient information.

Apple reveals newest app. Could it change healthcare?

After months of anticipation, Apple recently unveiled its new health app - its cloud-based information platform known as "HealthKit," and a slew of new partnerships with Epic Systems, Mayo Clinic and a number of other hospitals. The open question: Will Apple's big play for the health care market end up changing the industry - and if so, how soon?

Predictive analysis for employee retention

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare had a nurse retention problem. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of the system's nurses left within the first year, and a growing number were leaving before the 90-day mark.

ASCO to help cancer docs evaluate treatment value

The American Society of Clinical Oncology's algorithm to help oncologists evaluate the clinical benefits, side effects and costs of a cancer drug or therapy will be fine-tuned over the summer and should be available for public comment by the fall, said Dr. Lowell Schnipper, chair of the society's Value in Cancer Care Task Force.

Clemson University IE department researcher focuses on patient safety initiatives

Clemson University research assistant professor Ashley Kay Childers has been selected to participate in a forum to discuss quality improvement programs in U.S. hospitals that reduce preventable readmissions, prevent medical errors, improve patient outcomes and cut costs. 

How big data helped cut emergency room visits by 10 percent

Starting in 2012, Washington emergency rooms began tracking patients in a mandatory, statewide database as part of an effort to supply the necessary health information to divert patients from trips to emergency rooms for non-urgent problems. Dr. Nathan Schlicher, an ER doctor who serves on the board of the Washington State Medical Association, said the Emergency Department Information Exchange has given hospitals a way to monitor patients and keep hospitals up-to-date regarding patients' health records. 

Cleveland Clinic's value-based care team improves patient wait times, saves costs

Cleveland Clinic has found ways to reduce cost and increase throughput by adding support staff for primary care visits.

Can mobile health technologies transform healthcare?

This article in JAMA describes the case for adoption of mobile health technologies (mHealth) and the potential for future application from a clinician's perspective.

Top-five list to improve emergency medicine and reduce costs

The Daily Rx summarizes on a study led by Jeremiah D. Schuur, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, to reduce excess utilization and costs in the Emergency Department.

IIE member research abstract promoted via YouTube

IIE Member and doctoral student Avinash Konkani is featured in a YouTube video describing research he is doing to reduce noise and medical device alarm fatigue. Avinash is attending Oakland University and is doing research at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester, Mich. Avinash is also a member of the SHS Newsletter committee.

Modeling and optimizing emergency department workflow

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.

Developing a cost-effective pressure-ulcer prevention program in an acute-care setting

This article in the Wound Care Advisor is a case study describing a cost-effective pressure-ulcer program in a 350-bed acute care hospital. The authors report that the program they put in place is saving over $2 million annually.

ISE senior design projects offer innovative solutions to industrial challenges

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.

Visualizing conversation structure across time: Insights into effective doctor-patient consultations

This study uses a highly efficient and time economic automated computer visualization measurement technique called Discursis to analyze conversational behavior in consultations.

Reducing patient charges by eliminating amylase from lab panels - HBR Blog Network

One hospital was able to reduce patient charges by over $300,000 annually by reducing the frequency of amylase and lipase testing for ED patients with abdominal pain and other conditions.

Behind the scenes of inventory management: A generalized approach

This presentation at the 2013 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference is focused on describing a generalized strategy for improving inventory management using communication, spatial layout, and physical organization, standardization of process and inventory par levels. In healthcare settings, particularly surgery, creating or establishing this standard requires a complete system perspective of inventory. 

Through the eyes of the workforce - creating joy, meaning, and safer healthcare

This report addresses what can be done and what is being done to improve the physical and psychological harm to healthcare employees that ultimately impacts the safety and quality of patient care. The report provides a list of strategies and supporting tactics to improve conditions impacting the health and safety of the workforce.

Ergonomics and technology: The future

"By standing for two hours throughout an average workday, you can burn 280 extra calories. In one year, that converts to roughly 20 pounds of weight loss. Results vary depending on body shape and metabolism." 

In this presentation at the 2012 Healthcare Systems Improvement Conference, the author addresses the need to increase ergonomics awareness in and out of the workplace by exploring new technology such as tablets, readers and smartphones, their use and place in the work environment as well as the ever-changing workplace, including trends in the office and telecommuting.

Two-bin kanban system replaces par-level inventory management 

St. Clair Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., hired an industrial engineer to implement an improved inventory management system to replace an inefficient par-level approach. St. Clair Hospital made a video describing how they did it and the benefits they've received.

Standarizing patient care to improve outcomes in cardiac surgery

In this presentation at the 2011 Healthcare Process Improvement Conference, Christian Rizzo of OhioHealth describes a system-wide effort to reduce sternal wound infection by leveraging lean tools such as standard work, process maps, daily gemba walks and performance metrics. OhioHealth was able to standardize care using evidenced-based practices extending from the doctors' offices to case management. This presentation demonstrates how lean tools are utilized and describes how the system was able to sustain a reduction in infections of more than 60 percent.

Industrial and systems engineers cure some of healthcare's ills - Watson Institute for Systems Excellence at Binghamton University

A recent feature in Binghamton's Watson Review describes ongoing healthcare improvement research at the Watson Institute for Systems Excellence (WISE). Ongoing healthcare research at WISE includes research in ED throughput and supply chain. WISE researchers collaborate with a number of hospital systems including Vitua, Mayo, and Wilson and Binghamton General Hospitals. Thirteen research assistants in the WISE program have recently been placed in healthcare organizations.

Original films of Frank B. Gilbreth

Part 1 & Part 2
From Internet Archive website, these films are essentially a summary of work analysis films which were taken by Frank B. Gilbreth between 1910 and 1924 showing a number of industrial operations from which the motion study technique was developed.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives.
Producer: Presented by James S. Perkins in collaboration with Dr. Lillian M. Gilbreth & Dr. Ralph M. Barnes
Sponsor: Chicago Chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Management

The journey to eliminating preventable harm - Nationwide Children's Hospital

In this presentation at the 2011 Society for Health Systems conference, Cindy Hafer provides a comprehensive look at how Nationwide Children's Hospital in Cincinnati is moving to eliminating all preventable harm to patients through a comprehensive safety initiative.

Case study on patient flow improvement, streamlining admissions from the emergency department

In a case study on the AHRQ website, the 340-bed Forbes Regional Campus of Western Pennsylvania Hospital developed a number of strategies to reduce delays in patient admission and discharge resulting in improved patient flow. The improvements were made during a weeklong kaizen blitz.

Purdue industrial engineering researchers investigate using surgeon hand gestures to improve surgery

Vision based recognition of hand gestures is being researched at Purdue University to control a robotic scrub nurse and access images during surgical cases. The research could lead to short case lengths and reduced infections according to the Purdue University News website.

Helping a hospital shine

In an article previously published in Industrial Engineer magazine, industrial engineering researchers at Clemson University assisted Cannon Memorial Hospital in Pickens, S.C., in a number of hospital-wide and service specific improvements resulting in increased efficiency.

Patient tracker

A case study of a centralized patient tracking system at Sentara Careplex Hospital in Hampton, Va. The case study shows how Sentara was able to reduce patient registration labor by over 50 percent and save over $300,000 per year.

Audible alarms and workplace noise in nursing units: An envioronmental factors case study

A case study for reducing workplace noise on a pediatric nursing unit and maintaining appropriate noise levels.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers post final report on Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) in Health Care

In research sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), UW researchers summarize findings and associated research from a 2009 conference in a report entitled Industrial and Systems Engineering and Health Care: Critical Areas of Research.

An Introduction to External Funding for Health Care Improvement

Management engineers may need money to implement healthcare improvement.  This article outlines several potential funding sources.

Pioneers of Industrial Engineering and Health Care : Part 1

This article profiles Frank Gilbreth and Henry Ford.  Gilbreth initiated the study of time and motion in the OR, and Ford was the first to attempt to decrease wasted motion among nursing staff.

Engineering Process Improvement Award Nomination Form 2008

Criteria for the award are described

Root Causes

Workers at a substance abuse clinic use the Toyota Production System to continuously refine their treatment for each patient.

Education, Ceritification, Participation, Mentoring - Building a Career and a Future

What are the parts of a rewarding career as an engineer in health care?  This presentation proposes an answer.

Moving Up the Curve: From Individual to Team to Organizational Effectiveness

Management team-building requires careful thought and planning. The presentation goes over several common pitfalls and proposes solutions.