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 Tech rivalries impede digital medical record sharing

Since 2009 the federal government has poured more than $29 billion into health information technology. Further they approved bills requiring the use of electronic medical records or hospitals will face financial penalties. However, some tech companies are making it difficult to share data between different systems. Hence the federal money meant to foster data sharing and care continuity may inadvertently have encouraged creation of “information silos.” 

Estimating staffing needs for food services

Food Services is usually one of the largest departments in a hospital in terms of personnel and worked hours. The Association of Nutrition & Food Service Professionals has a number of useful tools on its website to manage productivity better, including worksheets to estimate staffing needs. It is important to note that the worksheet does not take into account variation in expected productivity based on type of food delivery service or scale of the operation.

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 

Database may help identify veterans on the edge

The suicide rate for veterans has been higher than that of the civilian population for years, but since 2009 it has risen to four to six times the comparable civilian rate. Researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institutes of Health have developed a database and algorithm that can identify veterans with a high likelihood of suicide.  

Baylor Scott and White – strategy deployment three years later 

Brock Husby and Tammy Daniels delivered a presentation on lean strategy deployment at the 2012 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference.  The presentation described a true "top to bottom and backup again" strategy deployment process and follow-up that involved over 90 percent of employees at the Scott and White Health System. Since that time, Scott and White merged with Baylor Healthcare, creating an even larger and more complex healthcare organization. Did strategy deployment stick over the following three years and with the merger with Baylor Healthcare? And if it did stick, what were the successes and lessons learned with such an ambitious undertaking? Daniels describes her impressions to these questions three years later.
Scott and White Original Presentation 

Huntsman School of Business and Shingo Institute team up for Lean Continuous Improvement MBA

The Shingo Institute and Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University have created an MBA program with special emphasis in the principles of the Shingo Model.  

First steps in improving phlebotomy: The challenge to improve quality, productivity and patient experience - NHS Improvement Diagnostic

England’s NHS supported four pilot sites to test whether lean methodology could meet the challenge of improving the quality, productivity and patient experience for phlebotomy services. Multidisciplinary teams worked collaboratively to test and implement changes that deliver improvements for patients, staff and users of the service. Staff was trained to apply lean methodology to work. Improvements were achieved in all pilot areas with some sites achieving more than 50 percent reduction in wait times and 30 percent productivity improvement. Staff satisfaction also was demonstrated by reduced unplanned absences and improved patient satisfaction.

Members with successful careers

Interested in learning more about career paths in healthcare industrial engineering? Read about SHS members who have had successful careers using their industrial skills in healthcare. These are the newest bios available.
  • Jean Ann Larson, founder and owner of Jean Ann Larson and Associates
  • Joyce Siegele, director of productivity management for Northside Hospital
  • Karl Kraebber, xenotransplantation operation manager at Indiana University Health
  • Isaac Mitchell, director of lean continuous improvement at East Tennessee Children's Hospital
  • Dean Athanassides, senior director at Philips HealthTech  

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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