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U.S. hospitals experienced substantial productivity growth during 2002-11

The need for better value in U.S. healthcare is widely recognized. Existing evidence suggests that improvement in the productivity of American hospitals—that is, the output that hospitals produce from inputs such as labor and capital—has lagged behind that of other industries. NY Times article | Health Affairs article 

In case you missed it: Industrial Engineer magazine - Eight Paths to Better Hospital Design

There are eight main "wastes" to consider when studying lean hospitals: defects, overproduction, waiting, non-utilized talent, transportation, inventory, motion and extra processing. By studying and including these elements during the schematic design phase of a hospital build, healthcare workers can be assured that their environment will help them provide efficient care to their patients.

Health Systems Engineer: An Emerging Field


Date and Time: Aug. 11 | 2 p.m. Eastern time
Presenter: Heather Woodward-Hagg, Ph.D., director, VA Center - Applied Systems Engineering

The Veterans Health Administration funded the Veterans Engineering Resource Center Program to support the integration and translation of Systems Engineering methods within healthcare delivery systems. This presentation will review the evolution of the VERC programs as well as the emergence of a new field of health systems engineering. More information and registration 

An Uber for doctor housecalls

Innovative mobile applications including Heal, Pager, and Go2Nurse are emerging similar to Uber for healthcare. However instead of a car arriving, a doctor shows up at your door. Simply type in a few details such as address and reason for the visit and they will be there shortly with fixed costs for various services.

Using complexity theory to build interventions that improve healthcare delivery in primary care

Abstract: Previous observational research confirms abundant variation in primary care practice. While variation is sometimes viewed as problematic, its presence may also be highly informative in uncovering ways to enhance healthcare delivery when it represents unique adaptations to the values and needs of people within the practice and interactions with the local community and health care system. We describe a theoretical perspective for use in developing interventions to improve care that acknowledges the uniqueness of primary care practices and encourages flexibility in the form of intervention implementation, while maintaining fidelity to its essential functions.

Accelerating the use of Best Practices: The Mayo Clinic Model of Diffusion

This article from The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety describes how the Mayo Clinic is diffusing best practices across more than 70 sites in the organization.

Overkill - An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is harming patients physically and financially. What can we do about it?

Physician and popular healthcare writer Atul Gawande writes in the New Yorker on the current state of overutilization in healthcare and its negative effects on individual health and wealth.  He specifically addresses one of the greatest slices of the overutilization pie; overdiagnosing medical conditions.

A thousand days of choosing wisely

One thousand days since the Choosing Wisely Campaign launched they report the impact that it has had. Choosing Wisely aims to promote conversations between clinicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is: supported by evidence, not duplicative of other tests or procedures already received, free from harm, and truly necessary.

SHS, along with Susan Haas, M.D., presented a webinar on Choosing Wisely on Feb. 10. The presentation and recording can be viewed here.


SHS NewsletterJune 2015

The June 2015 issue of the SHS Newsletter features articles in The New York Times and Health Affairs about the productivity of American hospitals lagging behind that of other industries and an article previously published in Industrial Engineer magazine, "Eight Paths to better Hospital Design."

Other articles discuss topics on Uber being used for doctor housecalls, using complexity theory to build interventions that improve healthcare delivery in primary care, accelerating the use of Best Practices (The Mayo Clinic Model of Diffusion), and harming patients physically and financially with an avalanche of unnecessary medical care. There is also an article on the Choosing Wisely Campaign, an initiative of the ABM Foundation to help providers and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures and support efforts to help patients make smart care choices. Readers can also register for an upcoming SHS Webinar to be held at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11 with presenter, Heather Woodward Hagg, Director of VA Center-Applied Systems Engineering. The title of the webinar is Health Systems Engineer: An Emerging Field.


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