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Systems Engineering and Management Science for Healthcare: Examples and Principles

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Session
Analytics and Systems Engineering

Author
Alexander Kolker
Children's Hospital and Health System

Description
This presentation provides detailed examples of application of principles of System Engineering and Management Science for health care processes. Traditional management thinking and management science are applied side by side to the same problems to illustrate their differences. The focus is on the patient flow variability, clinic scheduling and staffing.

Abstract
Relatively little technical and intellectual resources have been devoted to the engineering design and analysis of an overall healthcare as an integrated system that should deliver high quality care for many thousands patients in an economically sustainable way. A real long-term impact on efficiency of the healthcare as an integrated system can be achieved only by using fundamental principles of System Engineering and Management Science. Probability theory, calculus, computer simulation form the scientific and technical foundation for such an approach. This presentation includes a dozen of specific examples from real hospital and clinic practice. System engineering /management science and traditional management reasoning are applied side by side to the same problems to illustrate and explain their differences. Examples include: clinic's waiting time and patient scheduling, optimal daily variable staff scheduling, capacity and access to care, effect of patient arrival and procedure time variability on unit throughput, load leveling of elective procedures scheduling, waiting lists and appointment backlogs, dedicated vs. combined resources, patient flow and dynamic supply and demand balance. Summary of some fundamental system engineering principles is provided The main lesson is that hospital/clinic operational decisions should be made using objective scientific principles rather than subjective opinion and intuition.



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