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Care compression 

Care compression

Lab management personnel at a Michigan-based healthcare system teamed up with an experienced professional from the new Department of Process Improvement to design optimal workflow for the consolidated lab before architects began their design process. Using principles and techniques from the Toyota Production System toolbox, 2P methodologies, A3 thinking methodology and Six Sigma, the team's goal was to develop lean workflow and design the new physical space to support that work, according to this article from the September 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer.

From the Web

Retail stores and medical centers: A promising partnership

This story from HealthcareFinanceNews.com tells how combining commercial and medical real estate can potentially grow in popularity and create a cost-effective healthcare setting that would include in-store clinics and community outpatient centers.

From the Web

Shorter stays, lower rehospitalization and death rates at VA hospitals

A study released Dec. 18 by the U.S. Veterans Administration showed that quicker hospital discharges have not led to increased readmissions or deaths, according to this article from McKnights.com.

Living life longer

With the most advanced technologies and resources and billions of dollars spent on healthcare, does it make sense that the U.S. trails four dozen countries around the world in life expectancy? This article from the April 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer presents an answer: Americans are living longer than reported by the CDC.

FRONT LINE: A satisfying reception

An adjunct professor of ISyE at the University of Southern California says he's found rural hospitals to be receptive to improvement ideas but continue finding difficulty in implementing new strategies, according to this article in the February 2012 issue of Industrial Engineer.

Sharpening coordinated care processes

The case study described in this article from the December 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer involves a coordinated care plan that primarily focuses on the Medicare Advantage market. This operation differentiates itself from other coordinated care plans by focusing its resources around the physicians in its network, which allows the physicians to manage the care of the members in the best possible fashion.

Communicating change 

In her October 2011 column in Industrial Engineer, D. Junell Scheeres asks: Is it just me, or does everyone struggle with communicating effectively across the organization? Have you been asked to justify your performance improvement efforts and prove they have been worth the investment?

Determining what healthcare should be

Like so many continuous improvement initiatives, best practice identification, development and implementation can be staged around typical project management elements. Common sources for defining best practices typically center on Internet searches, professional journals and internal experts. However, clinical operations personnel may resist any form of a work standardization initiative. Reasons for this may be cultural in nature, according to this artcle from the September 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer.

The man who declared war on waste 

Through a grant from the California Hospital Association, a USC Viterbi professor is applying lean management developed by Toyota to improve efficiency at more than 30 rural hospitals.

A healthy supply chain 

Working in supply chain management for a healthcare delivery system leads to much unsolicited advice regarding the sourcing, procurement and logistics management of medical supplies and equipment. But as D. Junell Scheeres explains in her August 2011 column in Industrial Engineer, the unique relationship between healthcare partners, customers and stakeholders can impose conflicting management challenges.

The New Yorker: Cowboys and pit crews 

Atul Gawande, staff writer for The New Yorker, posted his May 2011 commencement address to Harvard Medical School about the role of systems in health-related fields.

Purdue, Mayo Clinic form research fellowship 

An April 12, 2011, release by Purdue University says the school's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering and the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation have teamed up to create a research fellowship focused on elderly patients and chronic illnesses.

Significance of case management 

SHS contributor Frank Overfelt presents issues and opportunities in case management based on recent client experiences. The article discusses the increasing importance of case management in reducing costs and improving reimbursement in the current environment.

Life support for hospital staff 

The right nurse staffing model can be the difference maker when it comes to providing quality healthcare and operating within budget, according to this story from the February 2011 issue of Industrial Engineer.

TheNews.com: Weaknesses in health system 'responsible for rising disease insecurity' 

According to a Feb. 5 story from The International News (Pakistan), the transfer of medical information faces major delays due to gaps within the country's elaborate health system infrastructure.

AP: Headed to ER? Some post waits by text, billboard

According to an Aug. 23, 2010, story from The Associated Press, hospitals are beginning to use text messaging and billboards to advertise wait times in emergency departments.

blog A really great show 

Pierce Story: "The merging of management engineering with quality improvement is a logical and natural blend. Quality comes from perfected processes - and a focus on quality generates the need for improved operations."

Work Perfect: Serge B. Boulet 

"The best part of my job is knowing that the improvements being made are going to impact directly the lives of patients by enhancing their care."

blog The healthcare hockey stick

Pierce Story questions who and what the health care reform debate is about after hearing different views.

Now accepting papers for new healthcare systems engineering journal 

Beginning in March 2010, Taylor & Francis Publishers will publish a quarterly journal of the Institute of Industrial Engineers featuring original high-quality papers on healthcare-related topics of interest for researchers who want to remain current with cutting edge approaches to healthcare problems.

Designing better performance 

Modern healthcare organizations are at a crossroads when it comes to how best to maximize performance and growth and trying to survive constant change within the industry. In this cover story from the February 2010 issue of IE, Tim Stansfield and David Verner write about 10 principles of design criteria essential to an organization's overall success.

Helping a hospital shine 

A feature in the October issue of Industrial Engineer reviews a two-year partnership between Cannon Memorial Hospital and Clemson University’s industrial engineering department to study the hospital’s developmental plans and facility layout to determine potential ways to increase efficiency without sacrificing functional capacity.

blog Of pandemic and process flows 

Blogger Pierce Story asks how the healthcare industry plans to respond in the event of an H1N1 pandemic.

Lean Six Sigma in healthcare and administration

Sign up now for this three-day course in October to learn how to manage lean and Six Sigma for continuous improvement in health systems.

blog Legislated irresponsibility 

Blogger Pierce Story discusses “personal responsibility” as a means by which to help “save” the healthcare system.

Time-release fix

A tool of lean health care, 5S is an approach that should be considered first when starting a lean healthcare transformation. Learn why 5S is the little big secret for improving health care in the August issue of IE.

Premier picks 23 top-performing hospitals

Premier has recognized 23 hospitals nationwide with an Award for Quality.

webinar Best practices in the emergency department 

This free webinar shows how to evaluate emergency services using benchmarks that lead to enhanced operational flow, improved patient throughput and increased efficiency.

Synergistic research saves lives 

In a column for IE magazine, Mark Brauer, president of Amencie Consultants, advocates creating a clearinghouse for healthcare research that facilitates instant validation by researchers and their sponsors.

Paging Dr. Toyota

The April IE cover story describes how to take the Toyota Production System into operating rooms.

SHS Conference 2009 slide retrospective

See some of the sights of the 2009 Society for Health Systems Conference and Expo.

Case Study: Root causes 

A look at how Arche Wellness, a Pennsylvania rehabilitation center, has continuously modified itself using kaizen to meet provide ideal health care

webinar Metrics-based process mapping 

Learn how to use metrics to design waste-free processes and drive ongoing improvement.

A life-saving role 

Health care information systems are essential medicine.

webinar Lean in emergency department operations

This free webinar outlines lean concepts and tools as they relate to ED operations and performance improvement and provides tool summaries and a case study.

Animal instinct 

North Carolina State University IE professor Ola Harrysson tests science’s ability to help injured pets walk again.

Better British hospitals 

Learn how IEs in the UK are improving helathcare with whole systems thinking and simulation in the December IE cover story.

Lollipops for excellence 

See how Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., implemented a comprehensive quality program in the August IE cover story.

Adding value to the surgical PAT process 

In August 2008, executives at Doctors Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, identified process analytical technology as one of their operational focus areas. The project’s success was based on a lean culture, Six Sigma principles and clear communication.

The importance of communication for patient satisfaction 

A study performed in a 722-bed hospital in Jackson, Miss., revealed that communication between healthcare workers and patients should be a dimension of service quality because it increases patient satisfaction.

SHS Toolkit: Value stream mapping and process mapping 

Learn the six steps to creating a successful process map to use in the healthcare industry.

An introduction to external funding for healthcare improvement 

External funding opportunities do exist in healthcare – whether through corporate and government funding sources or through enhanced grant writing methods.

Five steps to lean improvement in the clinical laboratory 

Since the late 1990s, many hospitals have adopted lean as the key method for implementing process improvements to drive quality, cost, safety and delivery of care. See how one clinical lab took five steps to facilitate a lean improvement.

Hospitals need IE data to drive staffing decisions 

What do a microbiology laboratory, a radiology department and the front desk operations of a family practice clinic have in common? They used industrial engineering data to set staffing levels and discovered that removing process waste and inefficiency increases productivity and reduces labor costs responsibly.

The right application for the right problem 

Discrete-event simulation models and queuing analytic theory are the most widely applied systems engineering and operations research methods to analyze systems and justify operational business decisions. So why aren’t more health care facilities using QA theory to solve the pressing hospital problems of patient flow and variability?

SHS Roundtable with the Experts: Summarizing health care improvement challenges 

Four experts with more than a century in health care and manufacturing improvement experience discuss deep-rooted problems and their possible remedies. The panel included health care leaders in consulting, information technology, change management and administration.

Value stream mapping got you down? The problem may not be you 

Sometimes VSM is the right tool for the wrong situation.

Enhancing hospital health information management 

Health information management (HIM) has been used to achieve better resource utilization, reduce medical records’ processing time and incorporate technology. This study focuses on applying industrial engineering tools to improve operations in the HIM department of a regional healthcare provider in upstate New York.

Case Study: How a medical center ED reduced wait time by 95 percent 

West Virginia's largest medical center and Level 1 trauma center successfully used lean kaizen principles and simulations to work through a fragmented process. Learn how a three-day on-site lean project and simulation allowed staff to achieve its goals.

Redesigning emergency department care delivery 

Banner Health has completed a systemwide redesign of patient care delivery processes to reduce the time patients wait to see a physician. The new design resulted from a collaboration between Banner Health engineers and Arizona State University industrial engineering experts.

Simulation medication 

Emergency department models are becoming important tools for system analysis, but without the proper experience and methodology, developing a simulation can be daunting.

A four-arm framework to implement rapid response teams 

Albert Einstein Healthcare Network of Philadelphia is facing unique challenges as it implements a crisis response system with rapid response teams.

Attacking wate and variation hospitalwide: A comprehensive lean sigma deployment 

Columbus Regional Hospital leaders organized an organizationwide deployment of lean sigma linking strategy to the operating plan and to lean sigma projects.

Data-driven decision making to control pharmacy costs 

To control rising drug costs, health care organizations have formed pharmacy benefits management groups (PBMs). Data mining offers an opportunity for PBMs to enhance their ability to insure optimum pharmaceutical care.

Patient safety with Six Sigma, lean or theory of constraints 

Patient safety is not a method but a dominant paradigm in health care today. Tools without method may harm organizations. Six Sigma, lean and the theory of constraints are proven improvement methods that effective organizations will adopt.

Creating a patient-centered access system 

The Mayo Clinic created a patient-centered access management system using the critical components of demand, capacity, service standards and reporting analytics. Learn the connection and interdependencies of the components they used.

Improving health care quality in a pediatric ambulatory OR setting 

The Center for Clinical Effectiveness at Children's National Medical Center looks to simulation software to improve clinical operations and perform clinical research. Project management skills were incorporated with simulation to improve patient throughput in an outpatient setting.

Breaking the supply chain barrier: Can I do this on my own? 

Through the Health Care Management Council’s unique approach to benchmarking and networking to support performance improvement in hospitals, staff developed a specific set of tools to help organizations analyze clinical supplies, case types and physician variation.