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An Experience In The Development Of A Course In Health Systems Engineering

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Mentoring Graduate Students

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.208.1 - 12.208.7



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Paper Authors

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Kaustubh Nagarkar General Electric

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Krishnaswami Srihari State University of NY-Binghamton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An Experience in the Development of a Course in Health Systems Engineering


The healthcare industry is increasingly adopting several Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) techniques and methodologies, such as continuous improvement, supply chain management, and total quality management, to ensure customer satisfaction. Best practices are being developed and aggressively disseminated within organizations. In addition, healthcare systems are targeting the optimal utilization of resources while concurrently streamlining procedures to achieve cost effectiveness. ISE concepts have been (and continue to be) effectively used in the healthcare arena.

The healthcare industry in the United States has partnered with academia to work on solutions to issues in numerous areas of which Industrial and Systems Engineering forms only a tiny fraction. It is evident that there is a huge potential for the healthcare industry and the universities to strengthen their collaboration to apply ISE concepts in the healthcare arena. Also, there seems to be a need for ISE professionals with background knowledge of the healthcare industry.

This paper describes our efforts in the development of a comprehensive graduate level course that will educate the students about the issues in the healthcare industry as applied to the ISE field. The course would also provide a summary of the potential ISE tools that could be used as learnt by the students through other courses within the department such as probability and statistics, simulation and modeling, quality, and supply chain management.

First, a comprehensive search on the related courses that were taught across universities in the United States was performed. It was observed that only a handful of universities included some coursework in the field of health systems engineering within ISE departments. The authors had already been closely working with a leading group of hospitals in the area to identify solutions so specific ISE related issues within their emergency departments, operating rooms, and their radiology department. An understanding of the field of telemedicine was also gained from another research team working at the university. This research work and the interaction with the staff at the hospital and the university allowed the team to gain ‘first-hand’ knowledge of the typical ISE issues in the healthcare industry. Knowledge of specific solution methodologies was also gained, which could serve as great case studies for the students. In addition, a comprehensive literature review was done to identify the work done within the areas of Total Quality Management (or TQM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and simulation as applied to the healthcare industry. Based on all the above work, three courses were proposed in the field of health systems engineering which included, Healthcare Information Systems, Quality in Healthcare, and Healthcare Systems. A plan to develop a specialization in health systems engineering within the department was developed. After a comprehensive search and review, a textbook was selected, and several were identified for reference. Subsequently, a graduate course - Industrial and Systems Engineering in

Nagarkar, K., & Srihari, K. (2007, June), An Experience In The Development Of A Course In Health Systems Engineering Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2667

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