CHEPS News

volleyball August 9, 2018:

CHEPSters enjoyed several rounds of volleyball on a sunny summer afternoon. Taking advantage of the beautiful weather, the team made their way down to the beach volleyball court on the North Campus Grove and enjoyed a friendly competition. CHEPSters Jordan Goodman and Sheridan Tobin shared the MVP honors. HEPS alum and staffer Billy Pozehl joined the fun and made some great plays.
— Written by Jakob Kiel-Locey, IOE Undergraduate

researchpalooza August 8, 2018:

CHEPS students had the opportunity to attend Researchpalooza, which was hosted by the Michigan Medical School Office of Research. Representatives from 91 offices and labs had tables at the event. Attendees were able to learn about the work that takes place at the different departments within the medical school and beyond. CHEPS students visited tables of some of the departments they currently work on projects with, like the Dentistry and Pediatrics, as well as other departments like Bioinformatics and Molecular Imaging (to name a few). There was even free ice cream for everyone who participated.
— Written by Theodore Endresen, IOE Undergraduate

roshun white coat ceremony August 5, 2018:

Roshun Sankaran joined CHEPS as an undergraduate pre-med student in 2014 and continued to work with CHEPS as he pursued a master’s in Public Health. On Sunday, August 5th, 2018, the CHEPS alum recognized the start of his first year of Medical School at The University of Michigan with a White Coat Ceremony. According to the Medical School, “This tradition, known as the White Coat Ceremony, marks an educational milestone: Entry into clinical medicine. Our incoming medical students gather in the presence of their families, mentors, guests, faculty members and leaders of the Medical School to formally receive the cloak of their future profession — the white coat.”

Roshun is pictured with his parents who attended the ceremony to help him celebrate his achievements. CHEPSters will have a chance to congratulate Roshun in person in September at our alumni reunion and Symposium on Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety.

discover
discover
August 3, 2018:

CHEPS students had the opportunity to volunteer this week at Discover Engineering. The program offers students from 8th to 10th grade the opportunity to explore a variety of engineering disciplines through engaging, hands-on activities. CHEPS students ran the Resident Shift Scheduling Game as part of the Industrial and Operations Engineering track. Students in the track also had the chance to learn about ergonomics and get a tour of the biomechanics lab.

“It was great to see the students developing strategies for filling out the schedule by hand,” said Riley McKeown. “We were very impressed by the progress some of the students were able to make in filling out the schedule, and the students were even more impressed when they saw how quickly the program was able to create a schedule with no errors!”

Anna Learis truly appreciated the chance to share part of what she does at CHEPS with the visiting students. She said, “Volunteering with Discover Engineering is extremely personal to me because it was through a similar camp that I learned about IOE and began framing my college search around a strong IOE program. By introducing high school students to how IOE can make a real-world difference, I hope some of them found the same interest in the major that I have!”

knabe visit
knabe visit
August 1, 2018:

Ariadne Labs is named after Greek mythological figure Ariadne, who is known for helping Theseus through a labyrinth by giving him a ball of string he could use to track his path. CHEPS had the pleasure of hosting Louise Knabe, Chief Project Officer of Ariadne Labs, on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. Louise said the fictional goddess of the labyrinth is a fitting comparison because “taking an incredibly complex problem and trying to find a really simple solution” is the goal at Ariadne Labs.

According to Ariadne’s website, “Ariadne Labs focuses on the most critical moments in people’s lives: childbirth, surgery, and serious illness care. Our mission is to create scalable health care solutions that deliver better care at the most critical moments in people’s lives, everywhere.” CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn had the opportunity to visit Ariadne earlier this year. Louise’s visit was an excellent opportunity to continue building a relationship between Ariadne and CHEPS.

Louise had a full day at CHEPS which included meetings with CHEPS students and collaborators, participating in the Glaucoma team’s weekly meeting, and delivering a lunchtime seminar. Her seminar began with an introduction to Ariadne and her role there. As Chief Project Officer, Louise does whatever needs to be done to make the organization run. She and her team work to make sure Ariadne delivers on all commitments in the most effective way possible.

As an example of Ariadne’s work, Louise described the development and dissemination of their Safe Surgery Checklist. She emphasized that their process is to 1.) identify the problem, 2.) design a simple solution, 3.) test the solution, and 4.) spread the solution. Their vision is the global adoption of their solutions and to come up with solutions that can be workable and adaptable for every patient, every time, everywhere. Like CHEPS, Ariadne takes a multi-disciplinary approach, involving experts from a variety of specialties from around the world at each step in their process.

After her presentation, Louise had a Q&A and conversation with CHEPS students which included a discussion about how Ariadne Labs could further incorporate engineers into their work. At the end of her visit, Louise said that she truly appreciated the collaborative spirit and focus on problem-solving she encountered at CHEPS.

CHEPSters thank Louise for a day of productive and intellectually stimulating conversations. We hope CHEPS and Ariadne can continue to connect.

Hribar seminar August 1, 2018:

The CHEPS Glaucoma Team was invited to a Center for Eye Policy and Innovation (CEPI) presentation by Michelle Hribar at the Kellogg Eye Center. Michelle works at Oregon Health Science University as an Assistant Professor and has a master’s in Industrial and Operations Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science.

The presentation, “Improving Ophthalmology Workflow Using Data Analytics”, focused on her research, which uses electronic health record timestamps to assess clinic flow and reduce wait times. One of the solutions they came up with through their analysis was a scheduling template that improved workflow and decreased bottlenecks.

Before the presentation, Michelle Hribar sat in on meeting with the Glaucoma Team to give insight into our project in the Glaucoma Clinic, using RFID readers to map patient flow and reduce wait times. It was great to learn about her experience in projects with similar goals and the original ideas they have come up with to improve the patient experience.

july 2018 at CHEPS
july 2018 at CHEPS
july 2018 at CHEPS
july 2018 at CHEPS
july 2018 at CHEPS
July 30, 2018:

Time flies when you’re staying busy and having fun. We’ve been doing plenty of both this month at CHEPS! It’s hard to believe we’re headed into the last month of the summer semester.

Our Brunch and Learns have continued to be a fabulous way for students to share their expertise with one another. The wide variety of experience and backgrounds our community has is one of the things that makes CHEPS so special. Brunch & Learns offer everyone the chance to both share and learn skills. This month, Heather helped our students with the best ways to format their research posters; Billy discussed the use of metrics, and Anna delved into value stream mapping. The skills learned in Brunch and Learns as well as informally through the many collaborations at CHEPS benefit students in many ways. As CHEPSter and IOE PhD student Donald Richardson said, “This invaluable experience working with such a culturally and academically diverse team has allowed me to develop and hone strong communication/technical work translation, leadership, organizational, and general project engagement skills which can be utilized in my career across multiple domain areas.”

Lunch and Learns are an opportunity for student teams to keep all of CHEPS updated on what they’ve been working on throughout the summer. This month saw presentations from RITMO and SCOPES. RITMO aims to improve the transportation systems that get people, specifically underserved communities, to and from the University of Michigan Hospital. SCOPES focuses on improving endoscopy scheduling to minimize overtime, minimize waiting, minimize doctor idleness, maximize patient access to healthcare, and maximize appointment slot utilization.

We also took a week off of Lunch and Learns to see a talk by Jonathan Cohn, titled “The State of the Healthcare Debate,” hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI). The talk offered an excellent overview of how healthcare has evolved over the years in the United States, where it stands now, and where it might go in the future.

In addition to all our scholarly activities, there have been some fun social events! July saw the return of CHEPardy, everyone’s favorite CHEPS trivia game, as well as a trip to the Dexter Blueberry Farm. CHEPSters picked a whopping 40 pounds of blueberries on our visit to the farm. In addition to each person taking some home, many went home with CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn who has promised that her son Peter will be baking some delicious blueberry pies for all of CHEPS! Peter’s baked goods are a lesser-known but extremely appreciated benefit of working at CHEPS.

We always enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of our CHEPS community members. Theodore Endresen has been awarded a Clyde Johnson Memorial Scholarship from the Industrial and Operations Engineering Department! This is especially exciting and fitting for a CHEPS student because Clyde Johnson was a pioneer in healthcare engineering. And CHEPS SROP student, Heather Hawkins, shared an excellent poster at the SROP poster session.

Unfortunately, August approaching also means saying goodbye to some fellow CHEPSters as some leave for the summer. The good news is, many will return to CHEPS for future semesters and those who are moving on will stay in touch. Once a CHEPSter, always a CHEPSter! As HEPS Masters student John Cima said, “CHEPS had given me friends that make working at CHEPS one of the most enjoyable things that I have ever done. The people here are so smart and kind. There is no other place I would rather spend my time.”

We’re looking forward to an equally productive and exciting August!

hawkins srop
hawkins srop
July 26, 2018:

Heather Hawkins, worked at CHEPS this summer as part of Rackham Graduate School’s Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP). She finished her summer at CHEPS by showing a poster at the SROP poster session and giving her visiting parents a tour of CHEPS. They had the chance to sit in on a Brunch & Learn session on SCOPES, one of the projects Heather focused on this summer.

Below is what Heather had to say about her time here at CHEPS.

“CHEPS has been an adventure. As a student from Bradley University located in Peoria, IL, I was accustomed to a small campus and a small student body. When I came to Michigan, I was worried I would get lost both literally and figuratively. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find my small community within a much larger one in CHEPS. The students, faculty, and staff are warm and inviting and were more than happy to answer any and all of my questions. And I have truly enjoyed getting to know all of the CHEPSters during our weekly Lunch & Learns and CHEPS Thursdays.”

“CHEPS has also served as a great gateway experience to research at UM. During my time here, I had the opportunity to work on DERMA and SCOPES, two scheduling projects focused on provider scheduling and patient scheduling respectively. The former taught me several invaluable communication skills and C++. The latter put me in touch with Karmel Shehadeh, a PhD student at UM, who has been a guide to me as I journey toward my own PhD. Both of these projects have taught me the value of terminology as well as the intricacies of teamwork. Thanks to this experience, I am excited to begin the application process to UM and to see everyone here at CHEPS again.”

endresen July 26, 2018:

Theodore Endresen is a 2018 recipient of the Clyde Johnson Memorial Scholarship from the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). The scholarship is named in honor of Clyde Johnson who, in the early 1960s, led an effort, along with Dean Wilson, to collaborate with the University of Michigan Hospital to establish the first industrial engineering group within a hospital to improve its operations.

“I put a lot of effort into my coursework every year and was excited that my academic advisers recognized this by awarding me the Clyde Johnson Memorial Scholarship,” Theodore said. “Clyde Johnson was a pioneer in the healthcare engineering industry at Michigan and, as a student who works for the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS), it is truly an honor to be associated with his name.”

research poster brunch and learn July 24, 2018:

For the Brunch and Learn this week, CHEPS student Heather Hawkins, who is with us from Bradley University this summer as part of the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP), discussed the formatting of research posters.

Content and format are two of the most important elements of the research poster. A few examples of bad content are 1.) too much content, which leads to no one wanting to read it; 2.) leaving no space on the edge or using too many charts, both of which make the poster look narrow and are not pleasing to the eye.

The content of a good poster includes a clear visual abstract of 200-800 words, not the entire project with a lot of technical language. A nice poster also uses fewer words in the title but makes the title appealing and attention-grabbing. Around half of the content should be the results and the other half can include the methods used, introduction, and conclusion.

Formatting a poster involves many factors. For instance, using color wisely can make a big difference. It’s best to use three or less main colors. Colors like white and black are always a safe choice. Typefaces are another important factor; posters should use a consistent font style and size. The recommended font sizes are 72-120 pt. for the title, 36-72 pt. for the subtitle, and 24-48 pt. for normal content. Besides the color and typefaces, the layout of the poster is also important. A good poster usually has 3 or 4 columns and the graphics should be diagonally or horizontally symmetric to balance the poster’s visual weight.

Heather offered five final takeaways: 1.) do not use your full abstract on the poster; 2.) don’t be limited to boxes, try other shapes; 3.) use handouts and samples; 4.) try the “arm test” on the font size, which means print the poster on a paper and hold it with straight arm, if you can see the text clearly then it’s good; 5.) finally, get feedback from colleagues and friends to improve your poster!

blueberry social
blueberry social
July 19, 2018:

For this week’s social event, CHEPSters ventured out to the Dexter Blueberry Farm for some delicious, hand-picked blueberries. Everyone grabbed a bucket and marched out to the plentiful fields to find some enormous berries. A hidden blackberry bush was found amongst the blueberry bushes and everyone happily added some blackberries to their buckets. The team took a break from picking berries to engage in some blueberry tossing contests and fun conversation. Blueberries sold for $2 per pound and all the CHEPSters and Associate Director Amy Cohn picked an estimated 40lbs of blueberries! The average pie requires around 1.5lbs of blueberries so everyone is looking forward to baking some delicious pies and blending some tasty smoothies with all the fresh fruit. Another successful and rewarding CHEPS social event is in the books!

cohn ihpi seminar July 19, 2018:

Instead of the normal Thursday Lunch & Learn, CHEPSters attended Jonathan Cohn’s seminar, The State of the Healthcare Debate, hosted by the Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI). The Research Auditorium was packed with a variety of students, faculty, and staff.

To begin, Cohn described how healthcare evolved in the U.S. over the years: Americans first received health insurance from their employers, usually big companies. However, many employed by small companies, younger and older people, poor people, or people living with a disability were not covered by this system. Medicare, for the elderly, and Medicaid, for children and pregnant women, were created to help combat this issue, but millions were still without coverage. These individuals turned to insurance companies who quickly realized their customers had a very high risk (high cost) of healthcare, and the companies began discriminating against these high-risk customers. The Democratic party, backed by President Barrack Obama, tried to enact a universal healthcare policy, but their first attempt didn’t leave the Senate floor. However, the state of Massachusetts gave Obama and his party a new hope and a new plan.

Massachusetts’ system was simple: provide Medicaid to the poor, control the cost of healthcare systems, and The Three-Legged Stool. One leg is to not discriminate against high-risk individuals and require benefits for every insurance plan. The second is to require everyone to be on this insurance system. Lastly, subsidies would be provided for those who could not pay for their own healthcare. They hoped that this bill would be more attractive to the Republicans. Conservatives had a few changes, most notably that states had majority control of implementation. Over the years, Cohn explains, those states that wanted the Affordable Care Act to work thrived under the Affordable Care Act, but those that didn’t want it to work found the Affordable Care Act to be lacking.

Like any product or service, quality healthcare is expensive, and attempting to pay for it with less money, Cohn says, is impossible. Still, the Republican party recently came up with a plan that, at the end of the day, wasn’t significantly better than Obamacare, Cohn said. Cohn describes the public’s reaction: The plans weren’t that different, and people liked being on Medicaid. Looking to the future, Cohn sees two paths: completely repeal Obamacare or completely enact it. He notes that once the public receives a benefit, the government is hard pressed to take it away from them. “There’s a lot of people unhappy with where healthcare is today, but not a lot of people who want to go back,” he said. Universal healthcare is not perfect and will probably undergo several alterations; however, it is also probably here to stay.

template lunch and learn July 17, 2018:

For the Brunch and Learn this week, Billy Pozehl, CHEPS Research Area Specialist, discussed the use of metrics within the provider scheduling template. He provided an overview of both what a metric is conceptually and realistically how CHEPS implements metrics within its projects.

Conceptually, metrics are defined as a linear system of equations that should be minimized within an optimization problem. Projects within CHEPS, such as BLOCK, use metrics to minimize requests denied for their overall objective. On the other hand, the infrastructure to practically implement the idea of metrics resides within the CHEPS provider scheduling template. Here, students can find a means of defining a metric (through MetricParams.txt) by specifying a metric name, lower bound, upper bound, weight, and variable type. Moreover, the template provides the functionality to build the metric such that the CPLEX library and corresponding decision/auxiliary variables can interpret it (implementing a metric definition function), and to understand the values that were solved by converting the CPLEX variables into C++ variables. Overall, metrics are an integral part of the provider scheduling projects here at CHEPS.

scopes lunch and learn July 12, 2018:

For this week’s Lunch and Learn, the SCOPES team discussed their project. SCOPES, which stands for System of Concepts for Optimization and Personalization of Endoscopy Scheduling, focuses on developing a tool to evaluate several outpatient scheduling templates and policies based on but not limited to: minimizing overtime, minimizing waiting, minimizing doctor idleness, maximizing patient access to healthcare, and maximizing appointment slot utilization. The team is developing a Dynamic Scheduling Simulation Tool in Excel to evaluate and compare several scheduling templates and policies. For the future, the team will collect data on the number of patient types and on the appointments request rate for each patient type. They will also create a simulation scheduling tool in Python and convert the simulation model into a scheduling tool to determine optimal template-policy pairing for any clinic.

value stream mapping lunch and learn July 10, 2018:

At this week’s Brunch and Learn, CHEPS student Anna Learis presented a crash course on value stream mapping. She explained how value stream maps can be used to visually outline a system’s process flow in order to help identify, and eventually eliminate, waste. After her presentation, students broke into teams and practiced using these skills by drawing out rough drafts of value stream maps for some current CHEPS projects.

ritmo lunch and learn July 5, 2018:

The RITMO team presented at this week’s Lunch and Learn. The goal of this project is to improve the transportation systems that get people, specifically underserved communities, to and from the UM Hospital. By analyzing census and patient data, the team has been able to classify different areas of the Ann Arbor community based on risk. The team has also analyzed travel time between the UM Hospital and communities in Ann Arbor for both personal vehicles and public transportation using Google’s API. With all this information, the team can pinpoint areas where transportation systems need the most improvement.

bagian lunch and learn June 29, 2018:

At this week’s Lunch and Learn CHEPS students had the privilege to hear about CHEPS Director Jim Bagian’s experiences working at NASA. He focused on his experiences understanding the Challenger and Columbia disasters.

First Dr. Bagian discussed the Challenger disaster and the aftermath of recovering fragments of the shuttle on the ocean floor afterward. He discussed how the crew most likely survived the break up of the shuttle but could not survive the impact from hitting the ocean as there was no ejection system to escape the shuttle. Because there was no emergency evacuation system, Dr. Bagian worked on designing one. He discussed the methods and process he took to design a telescoping pole that would allow one to escape the shuttle.

Then Dr. Bagian discussed his involvement in assessing the aftermath of the Columbia disaster, where a piece of foam broke off and struck the side of the shuttle. He showed us footage of the crew prior to the crash and showed us how they tracked and collected the debris across Texas. He also showed us a video of them testing the ability of foam to break through a shuttle.

Thank you to Dr. Bagian for a fascinating talk!

2018 xplore
2018 xplore
June 27, 2018:

This week, four CHEPSters volunteered at the Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) workshop for Xplore Engineering, an Engineering camp providing hands-on experiences to children of a variety of ages.

The students helped the children work in a workshop simulating a candy factory assembly line, consisting of stations including assembling the products, wrapping them with paper and placing them on a conveyor belt, labeling the product, wrapping the candy with a ribbon, and undergoing quality control to make sure products were not defective. Between rounds, children had the opportunity to make changes to the process to be able to produce more candy in the same amount of time.

The children instantly got engaged with the activity and started communicating with each other to try to see where bottlenecks occurred and how the process could be improved. Overall, the children were happy to be there, parents were thankful for the volunteers, and the CHEPS students had fun spreading their enjoyment of IOE with others.

june 2018 cheps June 26, 2018:

June has been another exciting and productive month here at CHEPS. Our twice a week summer Lunch and Learns have morphed to Tuesday Brunch and Learns and Thursday Lunch and Learns, proving that CHEPSters are ready for both learning and food at all times of the day. Topics this month have ranged from projects like MSafety and Glaucoma to practical tips on computer use and design. Every Brunch/Lunch and Learn provides a valuable opportunity for students to share expertise and collaborate.

Today, students learned some design principles from Malcolm Maturen. While the skills developed at the Brunch and Learn will be valuable for academic and professional presentations, this morning they practiced by designing slides describing their superhero alter-egos.

This week’s Lunch and Learn promises more exciting content. CHEPS Director Jim Bagian will be discussing both healthcare and his experiences as an astronaut with CHEPS students. Jim along with Joe Derossier, CHEPS Program Manager, also led an RCA2 training earlier this month, giving students and other attendees a chance to learn from their expertise in the topic.

In between events like those above, days consist mainly of project work and project team meetings. For insight into just a few CHEPS projects, past and present, see our in-progress project page. We’ll be updating it throughout the summer and beyond.

While everyone is working hard this summer, it’s nice to have the occasional break to enjoy hanging out with each other too! When we don’t have a Lunch & Learn, lunches have proved a good time to take a short break and catch up on The World Cup together. And, we’re looking forward to the return of CHEPS Trivia (or as alum Ryan Chen suggested “CHEPardy”) for this Thursday evening’s social event! Anna Learis premiered CHEPS Trivia last month and it is back by popular demand.

design brunch and learn June 26, 2018:

At this week’s Brunch and Learn, CHEPS student Malcolm Maturen presented about principles of design. During the presentation, he went over various ways to effectively use color, font, and alignment in order to convey information. He also expressed that consistency is of the utmost importance in design. After going over these topics, Malcolm had a surprise activity for all of his fellow CHEPS students – designing PowerPoint slides for their superhero alter egos. Thanks to Malcolm, everyone at CHEPS was able to learn some helpful design principles and have some fun to kick off the work day!

Below are a few sample slides from the activity.

design brunch and learn

design brunch and learn

REACT June 22, 2018:

CHEPS student Adam VanDeusen shared his research with K-12 STEM teachers who were visiting campus on June 22 to take part in the REACT (Research Education and Activities for Classroom Teaching) Workshop. This workshop is led by students in Macromolecular Science and Engineering and shares the meaningful research being conducted at the University of Michigan with teachers who participate in lab tours, activities, and research talks. Adam gave a brief overview of operations research methods and applications and then discussed his work on access to eye care for veterans.

A video of Adam’s talk can be viewed below.

msafety lunch and learn June 21, 2018:

For this week’s Lunch and Learn, the M-Safety Project 1 team discussed their project. M-Safety Project 1 focuses on improving provider awareness of catheters. The team shared that there are few signs in patient rooms regarding the existence of catheters, so many providers are unaware that patients have a catheter in place. When catheters have been in for too long, infections can occur, so it is important that providers have information readily available about catheters. The team is working to create a display that accurately shows catheter and skin wound information near the patient’s bedside, so providers have easy access to the information. The display should convey the important information in an efficient and attractive way. The team has gone through multiple iterations of the design to ensure it meets provider criteria.

informs taipei
informs taipei
informs taipei
informs taipei
June 20, 2018:

CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn attended the INFORMS International Meeting in Taipei from June 17th -20th, 2018 where she delivered a talk titled “Challenges in Residency Scheduling.” She also had the opportunity to enjoy the plenary talk by Oleg Gusikhin, Technical Leader at Ford Motor Company and Lecturer in Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) at The University of Michigan, on “Smart Production of Smart Vehicles.”

IOE alum Richard Chen was attending the conference as well and, as a native of Taiwan, was able to serve as tour guide for some of the Cohn family excursions that took place after the conference. Professor Cohn also enjoyed the chance to catch up with another IOE alum, Wanshan Zhu. In addition to the conference, highlights of the trip included hiking Elephant Mountain, visiting the old mining town of Jiufen, enjoying the view from the top of Taipei 101 which is the eighth tallest building in the world, and, of course, eating soup dumplings and mochi.

kristine wang June 19, 2018:

At this week’s Brunch and Learn, CHEPS student Kristine Wang presented a few techniques of basic error checking in C++. CHEPSters learned practical applications such as verifying the size of input files and finding variables of the wrong data type. Thanks to Kristine, students wanting to learn to code will have some skills to prevent bugs from occurring in their programs.

Gise 2018 June 18, 2018:

A few CHEPS students volunteered to help out with the Girls in Science and Engineering (GISE) summer day camp here at U of M. The GISE program is a week-long day camp for girls that have completed the 7th or 8th grades and that are interested in science and engineering. The campers were able to learn about engineering through several interactive activities, including an Emergency Department (E.D.) Simulation.

The simulation is a game that teaches important principles of Industrial and Operations Engineering. The campers were each assigned a role in the game; some were patients, triage nurses, E.D. physicians, etc. The objective of the simulation was to get as many patients through the hospital in a given time period. After each round of the simulation, the girls were able to make one change to improve the system.

Right away, the campers seemed excited with their role-playing and were committed to making their E.D. run smoothly and effectively. The second round of the simulation ran much better than the first, and the third was the best. Each time, more healthy patients were discharged from the hospital and the girls were proud for beating their previous record. Not only did the campers have a blast and feel rewarded for their work in the E.D. simulation, they learned several fundamental principles of Industrial and Operations Engineering and saw how they were used in a real-world example.

mend
mend
mend
June 15, 2018:

In an environment such as healthcare, where the stakes are constantly high, it can be easy to resort to knee-jerk resolutions that focus on proximate causes of patient adverse events and close calls. As systems grow increasingly complex, however, it is imperative that we choose to analyze the underlying contributing causes of a problem, rather than superficial actions that place blame on individuals and focus exclusively on individually focused interventions such as training.

On Friday, June 15th, CHEPSters attended a Root Cause Analysis and Action (RCA2) training given by Director Jim Bagian and Program Manager Joseph DeRosier. This program was developed by Jim and Joe and has been implemented in hospitals across the nation. Its premise may seem simple; break down an incident until the actual root causes and contributing factors are exposed, and develop a series of actions to address them. Unfortunately, often the bureaucracy and complexity of systems get in the way of this approach. RCA2 is complete with tools to address administrative barriers.

RCA2 focuses on a multidisciplinary team, with a combination of unique perspectives, that meets to assess an adverse. By going past areas most investigations typically stop at, such as human error or lack of policy, RCA2 creates an environment where a systems-based assessment exposes factors that contributed to an event. Jim and Joe also detailed the importance of action following these assessments; structural design changes are stronger actions than those actions that require individuals to rely on their memory such as policy and procedure changes or training.

Above all, it is important to carry forward the mentality that RCA2 is built upon. This is particularly a responsibility in an environment such as healthcare, where patient safety is a constant top priority. Problems are multidisciplinary, multifaceted, and should always result in actions that concentrate on systems-based interventions that focus on prevention or mitigation of harm over blame of individuals associated with the event in question.

mend
mend
June 13, 2018:

The social event at CHEPS this week was a visit to the Ann Arbor Summer Festival to watch Annie & Rodd Capps perform. Ann Arbor Summer Festival takes place on Ingalls Mall in front of Rackham Auditorium and runs through July 1st.

CHEPSters gathered in the grotto and on the lawn to listen to the music, eat, drink and socialize. There were food stalls from Ann Arbor restaurants and a good sized crowd hanging out. CHEPSters are looking forward to other events at AASF, such as late-night movies, classes, and more live performances!

mend June 12, 2018:

Timely access to outpatient healthcare, and in particular to specialty care, is a significant challenge nationally. Although insufficient numbers of providers/appointments can contribute to this, existing capacity may also be scheduled inefficiently. CHEPS collaborated with Dr. Amy Rothberg of the Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Diabetes (MEND) clinic at the University of Michigan in order to develop a methodology to more deeply understand the relationship between scheduling policies, patient cancellation behaviors, and capacity utilization.

This work resulted in a paper titled “Access and Utilization: Methods for Analyzing Appointment Scheduling in Outpatient Specialty Care Clinics,” which the authors have just submitted for peer review. You can learn more on the MEND project page.

peony garden
peony garden
June 7, 2018:

After a day of hard work and team meetings, CHEPSters headed to the Nichols Arboretum together to visit the peony garden. The garden is a summer highlight in Ann Arbor and late May to early June is the ideal time to see the peonies in bloom.

After enjoying the peonies, the group traveled further into Nichols Arboretum and happened across Fairy Woods and Troll Hollow, an area that invites visitors to build a home for fairies or trolls that may be visiting the area. CHEPSters constructed a dwelling fit for the most discerning fairy or troll, complete with a tree stump to sit on. The visit concluded with a brief attempt at playing Frisbee that ended in everyone putting their teamwork skills to use to successfully rescue a Frisbee from an incredibly tall tree.

glaucoma lunch and learn June 7, 2018:

For this week’s Lunch and Learn, CHEPSters gathered to learn about the Glaucoma project. The Glaucoma project implements cutting edge Radio Frequency ID (RFID) technology to track patients and providers at the Glaucoma Clinic at the Kellogg Eye Center. The major goal of the project is to investigate and optimize patient wait times using a variety of methods. The past couple years of the project have focused on designing and implementing the RFID system to collect relevant user data. Moving forward, the team will work to analyze collected data and test optimization strategies.

precision June 7, 2018:

CHEPS students Dima Chaar and Sheridan Tobin volunteered at the Precision Medicine World Conference 2018 Michigan, hosted at the University of Michigan, from June 6 to June 7, 2018. The conference coincides with the launch of the University of Michigan’s Precision Health Initiative (PHI), a multidisciplinary initiative involving U-M’s Medical, Engineering, Pharmacy, and Public Health schools.

While assisting at the conference to help it run smoothly, Dima and Sheridan had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest research in precision medicine and cutting-edge strategies and solutions that are contributing to the future of healthcare. The conference also gave the CHEPS students the opportunity to network with academic and industry leaders in this field. A highlight of the conference was hearing opening remarks from U-M President Mark Schlissel and a keynote address from NIH director Dr. Francis Collins. Dima and Sheridan look forward to bringing all of the valuable things they have learned back to their PHI project team!

computer lunch and learn June 5, 2018:

At today’s Lunch and Learn, led by Billy Pozehl, CHEPS students met a learned how to remote login into the center’s computers to improve data security. They also discussed ways to improve the workflow and workspace with suggestions about new computers, accessories, and office equipment.

surgical instruments lunch and learn May 31, 2018:

This summer, CHEPS is holding a Lunch and Learn series where CHEPSters share with each other both the knowledge and the expertise developed while working on different projects at CHEPS. On Thursday, Wesley Chen, a HEPS master’s student, Muhammad Ugur, an undergraduate student in CS, Malcolm Maturen, and Malcolm Huson, both undergraduates in IOE, presented on the Surgical Instruments project.

Wesley started the talk by explaining how they aim in the Surgical Instruments team to assist fellows at the Central Sterile Processing Department (CSPD) of Michigan Medicine to achieve their reprocessing goal. Excited by the initial outcomes and the quality of the CHEPSters’ work, CSPD sought additional support from the team on fire safety in the surgical room, technical consultancy for adopting new technology designed for testing insulation integrity of electrosurgical instruments, and creating a cleanability dashboard on which challenges related to surgical instruments cleaning are quantified.

The session concluded with an intercultural celebration. Hanan Al-Awadhi, a HEPS master’s student, shared with the other CHEPSters a tradition that is practiced during the middle of Ramadan in Kuwait. Gargee’an is a celebration that is observed in the Gulf region on the 14th and 15th nights of Ramadan where children dress in traditional outfits and go door-to-door to receive sweets and nuts from neighbors while singing traditional songs. CHEPSters, who manage to excel in every task, managed too to sing the Gargee’an song in Arabic for Billy. Everyone at once sang “Sallim “Billy” ya Allah, Khallah li omha ya Allah” meaning “Oh God, protect “Billy” from every evil, let him have a long life for the sake of his mother.” Then came the time to enjoy the Gargee’an treats brought by Hanan!

cheps may 2018 May 31, 2018:

It’s hard to believe the end of May is upon us. Some might think things are quiet on the University of Michigan campus at this time of year but CHEPS is in full swing. With fewer classes, summer offers an opportunity for CHEPSters to focus more fully on their CHEPS projects, meaning we stay incredibly busy.

In addition to focused work on our wide variety of projects, this week we kicked off a series of summer Lunch and Learn sessions for CHEPS students. Karmel Shehadeh led an informational workshop on LaTeX and Overleaf, an interface for technical writing, on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Surgical Instruments team updated the rest of CHEPS on their progress. Lunch and Learns throughout the summer will help students learn valuable skills and share their work, ideas, and suggestions with one another.

While working hard, students are still finding time to have fun. We enjoyed a lunch with a long-time friend of CHEPS, Merrill Bonder of The Bonder Foundation on Wednesday. Her visits are always a highlight! And, at the start of Thursday’s Lunch and Learn, HEPS master’s student Hanan AlAwadhi shared candy and a traditional song with her fellow CHEPSters to introduce us to Gargee’an, a celebration that is observed in the Gulf region on the 14th and 15th nights of Ramadan where children dress in traditional outfits and go door-to-door to receive sweets and nuts from neighbors, while singing traditional songs.

We’re looking forward to a fun and productive June as well!

bonder lunch May 30, 2018:

College students are great at a handful of things; making ramen, procrastinating, and coming up with novel solutions. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of our environment, we often lack the means of transitioning these ideas from abstract thoughts to concrete reality. Between a lack of resources, packed schedules, and the relative absence of a professional network, students frequently find a plethora of barriers on the path of knowledge and independence.

It is often only through the altruistic acts of diligent and empathic professionals that allow many of us to move in the directions we wish to. This week, we were lucky enough to welcome Merrill Bonder; head of the Bonder Foundation and long-term CHEPS friend. After much hard work, Merrill and her late husband Seth have helped to support students across the country for years.

CHEPS student and IOE undergraduate Alexander Mize said, “Meeting Merrill and listening to her husband’s legacy was surprisingly inspiring for only a 2-hour lunch. Seth Bonder’s passion for mentoring students touched on my own passion in helping younger children. Hearing how the Bonder Foundation continues to support students in Florida and at U of M is an amazing principle to carry on as I continue down my career path.”

Merrill took time and care to emphasize the importance she sees in aiding students and the rippling effect that mentorship can have on the future of young minds. Simple and consistent actions can change a person’s entire desire to study and achieve more than baseline requirements. Students and staff took time to reflect on how the CHEPS network has directly benefitted from this, as we now have involved alumni spread across disciplines and states.

In place of desiring deservedly-large amounts of thanks and praise, however, Mrs. Bonder made sure to reiterate the overarching mission of support that extends beyond her foundation. As direct benefactors of this passion and general pursuers of knowledge, the human responsibility is now ours as well. It is the duty of each and every one of us to continue this legacy of sharing, mentoring, and aiding those around us.

lunch and learn May 29, 2018:

On Tuesday, May 29th, IOE PhD student and CHEPSter, Karmel Shehadeh, lead a workshop on LaTeX for CHEPS students. Karmel taught the use and basics behind LaTeX with her crash course session. The proficiency and functionality of LaTeX far surpass Word in terms of professional and research related necessities, so the Lunch and Learn was extremely helpful for the students. Thanks, Karmel!

trivia May 24, 2018:

CHEPS students gathered for trivia and snacks on Thursday, May 24, 2018 to kick off another exciting and productive summer at CHEPS. Students had a great time playing trivia and welcoming new students while catching up with returning members of the team. The two rounds of trivia included categories such as songs of summer, Michigan sports, city skylines, and movies. After trivia, the students got dinner together for some more summer fun.

iise
iise
iise
iise
iise
May 22, 2018:

On May 19th to 22nd CHEPS students and staff had the opportunity to attend the Institute of Industrial Systems Engineering conference in Orlando, Florida. According to the IISE website, “IISE is the world’s largest professional society dedicated solely to the support of the profession and is an international, nonprofit association that provides leadership for the application, education, training, research, and development of industrial and systems engineering.” Students and staff had the opportunity to learn and engage with other professionals and students about their field of study and interests. While at the conference, students were able to attend presentations and posters presented by both professionals and students in industrial and systems engineering.

While at the conference, several of the students had the opportunity to give 20-minute presentations that showcased the work they are presently doing for CHEPS. Justin Rogers, an undergraduate student in Industrial Operations Engineering, presented his work titled, “Creating a Computerized Tool to Schedule Dermatology Residents Each Month”. Matt See, an undergraduate student studying chemistry, presented his work titled, “An Approach to Improve Chemotherapy Make-Ahead Policies.” Trevor Hoffman, an incoming Master’s student in Industrial Operations Engineering, presented his work titled, “Classifying and Reducing Wait Times Using Radio Frequency Identification Technology.” Wesley Chen, a Master’s Student in Industrial Operations Engineering, presented his work titled, “Introduction of a Standardized Decontamination Process in Sterile Processing Departments.” Donald Richardson, a PhD student in Industrial Operations Engineering, presented his work titled, “Improving Chemotherapy Make-ahead Policies through Discrete Event Simulation.’ Junhong Guo, a PhD student, presented his work titled, “Methods to Reduce Solving Time of a Rotation Scheduling Problem.” Lastly, William Pozehl, a CHEPS staff member, presented his work titled, “Optimizing Resident Call Assignments.”

Junhong said, “The conference was fantastic. I really appreciated this opportunity to share our work with the peers and colleagues from different institutions. In addition, I also got the chance to meet with other doctoral students, especially those senior PhDs who are going to graduate very soon, which helped me learn a lot about the current trend of the academic research and job market’s interests.”

Other students also had fantastic experiences at the conference. Trevor said, “I found the sessions I was able to attend very interesting, but what I appreciated most was hearing about another project dealing with using technology in a clinic setting to track patients. It also confirmed that our method for the Glaucoma project might be working a bit better than expected.”

In addition to attending presentations and poster walkthroughs, IISE gave students plenty of networking opportunities. Our Michigan engineers were able to mingle with other students from schools across the nation and met some students from as far away as Mexico.

CHEPS student Trevor enjoyed attending IISE because it gave him more insight on the connection between healthcare and industrial and system engineering. HEPS masters student Wesley really liked how diverse Industrial Systems Engineering can be and how it can really relate to anything.

Outside of the conference, students were able to enjoy the warmth of the Florida sun while lounging near the pool. The conference was held only a boat ride away from Universal Studios so students were able to take trips down to the City Walk of Universal Studios. Overall, this trip was not only a great way to learn more about industrial systems engineering but also a great way to connect with other CHEPS students.

Finnegan Robert May 19, 2018:

Congrats to Leslie McDonough on the birth of her son, Finnegan Robert! Leslie spent some time with CHEPS when she was a medical student at The University of Michigan. We’re pleased to welcome someone as adorable as Finnegan Robert to the extended CHEPS family and are delighted to see he’s already showing his Michigan Spirit.

2018 grads May 18, 2018:

Congratulations to our most recent CHEPS graduates: Tristan Clark, Erick Dagenais, Jiaoyang Li, Josh Lustig, Dale Malette, Ian McKenzie, Samantha Roth, Hwon Tak, and Bill Zang! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of them. Read their reflections on their time at CHEPS and see what their post-CHEPS plans are below.

Tristan Clark
“CHEPS was a very interesting experience for me since I was dental hygiene student. I was able to get a lot of help with my data I was doing for other research projects and met a lot of great people while learning new things.”
What’s Next: Tristan will be finishing prerequisites for dental school at Oakland University and then applying for dental school next summer.

Erick Dagenais
“CHEPS has helped me apply what I learned in school while learning about healthcare engineering, a field I have never worked in before. I have met some very bright, motivated individuals that have made my experience at CHEPS very engaging and enjoyable.”
What’s Next: Erick will be working at Microsoft in Software Engineering.

Jiaoyang (Summer) Li
What’s Next: Summer will be going to graduate school at Cornell.

Josh Lustig
“The CHEPS community is warm, hardworking, and simply amazing. At CHEPS, I was able to conduct meaningful work on interesting projects across a spectrum of health care applications. Even as undergraduates, CHEPSters are given responsibility over complex problems to accelerate our learning and research experience.”
What’s Next: Josh will be working as a Technology Patent Agent for a small law firm in Chicago.

Dale Malette
“CHEPS really opened my eyes to the huge variety of ways computer science could be used in healthcare. The opportunities I’ve had a CHEPS has inspired me to continue exploring a career in healthcare.”
What’s Next: Dale will be working at Epic as a Software Developer.

Ian McKenzie
“CHEPS has allowed me to do engaging work alongside incredible coworkers, who I feel I’ve made long-lasting, meaningful relationships with!”
What’s Next: Ian will be working at Domino’s in the Technology Rotational Program.

Samantha Roth
“CHEPS has helped me work collaboratively and think creatively to find solutions to problems.”
What’s Next: Samantha will be working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft.

Hwon Tak
“CHEPS gave me wonderful opportunities to work with great coworkers and helped me to adjust life in the U.S. as an international student during my master’s degree.”
What’s Next: Hwon will be working at Deloitte Consulting in Korea.

Bill Zang
“CHEPS has defined my graduate school experience at Michigan to be an amazing collaborative journey with the perfect balance of diverse knowledge and practical applications. Along the way, I had the fortune to meet inspiring collaborators, life-long friends and life-changing mentors. And I am truly grateful for such CHEPS difference and its impact!”
What’s Next: Bill will be an Administrative Fellow with Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Region.

Congratulations graduates!

webinar May 8, 2018:

CHEPS students, while enjoying refreshing ice cream floats, attended a webinar titled “How the Internet of Things is Enabling the Medical Device Market.” This hour-long talk given by Joe Pleshek, President & CEO of Terso Solutions, and Mark Van Sumeren, Managing Director at Health Industry Advisor, LLC, focused on the increased use of RFID and Internet of Things technology in the supply chain management of the healthcare sector. They discussed the possible cause of this trend and the effect on the market as a whole as well as the differences between traditional supply chain management and healthcare supply chain. They also offered ideas on how to improve or initiate the use of this technology in today’s market and into the future.

cima May 3, 2018:

CHEPS students had the opportunity to attend the MIDAS (Michigan Institute for Data Science) Transportation Research Challenge Symposium. At this event, students listened to and participated in a discussion on different aspects of using data sciences for transportation problems that are being solved here at the University of Michigan. During the poster session, CHEPS student John Cima presented a poster on the impact of public transportation in Ann Arbor and access to the healthcare system. Attending this symposium and talking to others there gave these students ideas on how to improve their transportation research going into the summer.

moeckel April 24, 2018:

Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (HEPS) masters alum Rachel Moeckel has accepted a position at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System as a Health Systems Specialist (Access Coordinator). Rachel graduated from The University of Michigan in Fall 2017 with a masters degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering with the HEPS concentration. The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System provides healthcare services for veterans in southern Michigan and northern portions of Ohio. The main hospital campus, which is located in Ann Arbor, is a referral center for specialty care and holds 109 acute care beds and 40 Community Living Center (extended care) beds.

journal club April 11, 2018:

CHEPS and the University of Michigan’s INFORMS chapter have collaborated to launch a Healthcare Operations Research (OR) Journal Club. The journal club is intended for graduate students and highly-motivated undergraduates working in healthcare applications to discuss the latest OR methods that are being applied in the field.

Papers recently reviewed include Robust Postdonation Blood Screening Under Prevalence Rate Uncertainty (El-Amine, Bish, and Bish) and Data Uncertainty in Markov Chains: Application to Cost-Effectiveness Analyses of Medical Innovations (Goh et al.). Great discussions about these papers have helped bring new ideas to how students can formulate their research.

Participation in the first sessions has ranged from undergrads to post-doctoral researchers. We look forward to continuing to discuss innovative healthcare OR articles over the summer!

amy and spyros April 1, 2018:

CHEPS alum Spyros Potiris (pictured here with CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn) has just been admitted to the MPH program in Health Management at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“Industrial Engineers bring a unique approach and skill set to address major challenges in healthcare,” Spyros said. “Combining my IE background with a strategic perspective on healthcare operations and a better understanding of healthcare policy gained through the MPH program will allow me to guide institutions in delivering safe, affordable, accessible and efficient care.”

For the past 4 years, Spyros has held various positions at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. He is currently the program manager for the EHR operations team, focusing on designing and implementing initiatives to improve EHR-dependent processes, and promoting organizational efficiency in clinical and revenue cycle operations.

He says of his time at Dana-Farber, “I enjoy collaborating with diverse groups of organizational leaders to improve operational performance and the quality of services delivered at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.”

Spyros graduated from UM in December 2013 with a master’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering and a concentration in Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety through CHEPS.

“Through CHEPS, I had the opportunity to work on real healthcare challenges in a multidisciplinary environment, which helped me transition smoothly into my professional career, and be able to hit the ground running,” he said. “On top of that, I got to meet many students who shared the same interests as me, and make great friends along the way!”

Congratulations, Spyros!

amy and moses March 6, 2018:

CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn recently visited Northwestern University to give a talk on “Modeling and Implementation Challenges in Scheduling Medical Residents” and share the work we’re doing at CHEPS with colleagues and students. While there, she was able to have a mini-reunion with former CHEPS student Moses Chan, now a PhD student at Northwestern. She enjoyed hearing about his research and his new home. All of us here at CHEPS hope he’ll be returning to Ann Arbor for the CHEPS symposium and reunion in the fall!

shs 2018
shs 2018
shs 2018
February 23, 2018:

From February 21st to 23rd 2018, multiple CHEPS students and staff had the opportunity to attend the Society for Health System’s ‘Healthcare Systems Process Improvement’ conference in Atlanta. The conference was attended by professionals in both academics and the healthcare industry as well as students from around the world. While at the conference, the students were able to attend and present at sessions on topics like patient safety and process improvement.

Several of the CHEPS students gave talks about their own research during the conference sessions: Adam VanDeusen, a PhD student in Industrial Operations Engineering, presented his work titled, “Applying Systems Engineering Methods to Address Healthcare Access.” Billy Pozehl, a staff member at CHEPS and HEPS master’s alumni, presented on his scheduling work, “Applying Optimization Techniques to Surgical Call Scheduling.” Lastly, Chloe Smither, an Industrial Operations Engineering senior, presented on her work, “Clinic Scheduling for a Dermatology Residency Program.”

Chloe Smither said, “The SHS conference was a really rewarding experience, and I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend the conference. I thought my presentation went well, and I enjoyed the chance to talk to people about the specifics of the project during the questions portion. It was definitely exciting to share the work we have done on the Dermatology project. I also learned a lot from other speakers through their thoughts and research on improving healthcare systems.”

Other CHEPS students participated in poster sessions during the conference. Industrial Operations master’s student John Cima presented his poster on “Public Transportation and its Effect on Access to Healthcare.” Lauren Hirth, a junior in Biomedical Engineering, presented her research in a poster titled, “Developing and Implementing a New Standard Process for the Decontamination of Surgical Instruments.”

In addition to their presenting experiences, the students also engaged in many other networking and learning opportunities. Student Adam Van Deusen reflected that “the SHS conference was a great opportunity to meet peers and reconnect with colleagues at other institutions.” He also enjoyed attending the SHS sessions. Adam’s favorite session of the conference was from James Hereford, President and CEO of Fairview Health Services, who presented on the quality improvement force at his organization.

CHEPS student Lauren Hirth enjoyed meeting other conference attendees while presenting during the poster sessions. Lauren loved being able to discuss her research with a variety of professionals that work in the health systems field. She explained, “the projects I’m involved with through CHEPS seem to be very unique on Michigan’s campus, but at SHS it was exciting to be surrounded by people with long histories within the field.” Lauren also commented that she enjoyed hanging out with the other CHEPS students in Atlanta.

Outside of the conference, the students were able to relax a bit and enjoyed seeing Atlanta. The group was even able to connect with a couple of recent CHEPS alumni that now work in the city. Over dinner, students were able to get to know the alumni and hear about their work. It was a great opportunity to strengthen the CHEPS network while reconnecting old friends and cultivating new relationships.

arab xpressions
arab xpressions
February 17, 2018:

On February 17, 2018, CHEPSter Bassel Salka and members of the Arab Student Association (ASA) held Arab Xpressions, an event focused on celebrating Arab culture, addressing stereotypes, and uniting the University of Michigan Arab community through an entertaining evening. The program included seven dance groups, four student talent showcases, a fashion show and much more. Abdul El-Sayed, a Michigan alumni and Rhode Scholar, was a guest speaker.

“I put my heart and soul into it,” Bassel said. “It was really cool to see the community come together.” He stressed the importance of recognizing multiple cultures and identities that fall under the Arab category. “When people think of Arab they think of one thing but really what we think of as “Arab” is so different depending on the region you are talking about. For example, North African Arabs are different than those from the Levant. So with so many different unique cultures, we’re trying to be as representative as possible of everyone”. He says the group is continuing to try to expand that representation and inclusion in next year’s event.

This year was by far the largest Arab Xpressions event to date. When Bassel became a member of the ASA as a freshman, the Arab Xpressions event was held in the Michigan Union and drew a crowd of about 300 people. Last year, when Bassel joined the board of the Arab Student Association, the group stepped up organization and built a program focused more heavily on Arab culture. The event moved to Mendelssohn Theater and the audience grew to around 600 attendees.

That momentum continued to build this year. Bassel, now co-president of the ASA along with Rasha Jawad, worked with over twenty students to organize and plan this year’s event. They sold over 1300 tickets, effectively selling out the Power Center. In addition to dance groups, talent showcases, and a fashion show, the event focused on important community conversations.

“Although it’s fun to enjoy the music and dance of our culture, we also wanted the event to also focus on Arab American identity; this resulted in some more serious aspects of the show. Serious topics included talking about portrayal in the media, addressing stereotypes, and describing Arab student activism on campus. An example of a topic that was discussed was the We Exist Campaign. Essentially, this movement calls for a Middle Eastern/North African box to be added on University forms so that we can have our students’ progress documented and receive the proper resources allocated by the University,” Bassel explained.

“The most rewarding part of the show was having so many students find a sense of community,” Bassel said. “There’s something special about being with people who share the same values, have the same kind of experiences, and speak the same language as you. Being able to give students the opportunity to meet people like them, that was really cool.”

There was another group of attendees Bassel appreciated as well. “It was really rewarding to see a lot of my non-Arab friends enjoy the event, especially those from CHEPS. We had about nine people from CHEPS come out. They were amazed to learn more about a culture they weren’t as familiar with. We were able to change the rhetoric that you usually hear on the news so that was really beneficial.”

Arab Xpressions will continue to grow. Bassel says the group is looking at ways to hand over leadership of next year’s event and get even more students involved. Many of the people who were involved this year will serve as mentors to the new group.

iise great lakes February 3, 2018:

CHEPS students Anna Learis, Riley McKeown, and Justin Rogers attended the Great Lakes IISE Regional Conference at the Ohio State University from February 2nd to February 3rd, 2018. The conference gave attendees the chance to network with and listen to speakers from industries, take plant tours to learn about processes and potential employers and start forming their own professional networks with other up-and-coming students.

The group won one of the competition awards for an assembly line competition. They were also awarded best dressed at the conference.

Anna Learis said, “What I enjoyed about the conference was the opportunity to network with other IOE students from different schools in the region, such as Wayne State and OSU. Additionally, there were speakers from many industry sectors and learning about their different career paths and histories was a very engaging opportunity.”

wisconsin
wisconsin
February 2, 2018:

Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS) Associate Director Amy Cohn traveled to the University of Wisconsin – Madison to give a lecture on CHEPS and the research taking place at the University of Michigan at the intersection of healthcare and engineering on February 2, 2018. She was hosted by Gabriel Zayas-Caban, formerly a post-doctorate research fellow at CHEPS and now an assistant professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the UW – Madison. He works with the Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE), an institute similar to CHEPS.

In addition to delivering a talk, Professor Cohn was able to meet up with graduate students in the WIHSE program. She also met with Maicen Stuart, a student interested in pursuing graduate studies at the University of Michigan, as well as two University of Michigan alums, Jinshan Li and Shiyu Zhou, both of whom are now on the faculty at UW – Madison. The visit was a valuable opportunity to compare notes about CHEPS and similar programs happing at the UW – Madison, where a lot of work integrating healthcare and systems engineering is taking place, just as it is here at The University of Michigan.

WIHSE is hosting the 2018 WIHSE Conference, a day-long event bringing together practitioners and researchers in healthcare and engineering to conduct research, create new knowledge, and design better systems in healthcare, on May 2, 2018. If Professor Cohn is able to attend, she looks forward to spending time in Madison when there isn’t a -10 degree windchill.

donald and bassel January 15, 2018:

Donald Richardson and Bassel Salka were honored at the North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards Ceremony & Reception on Monday, January 15, 2018. The Martin Luther King Spirit Awards are given to students, student organizations, and faculty members at the University of Michigan North Campus who exemplify the leadership and vision of Dr. King through their commitment to social justice, diversity, and inclusion.

Donald has supervised several undergraduate and master’s students conducting research at the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS). He’s served as a mentor to students in both CHEPS and The Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE). He serves as a graduate student coordinator in IOE and also assists with the IOE Diversity Initiative which strives to both recruit and retain underrepresented groups in the department.

Recently, Donald organized and led an on-campus event for eighty 10th and 11th-grade students from the Ypsilanti and Detroit area. The students took part in multiple on-campus lab tours and participated in various STEM-focused actives. During the summer of 2016, he worked as a graduate student assistant with the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) where he oversaw multiple program activities as well as mentored over 40 underrepresented undergraduate students throughout their summer research experience while continuing his own research.

“I really wasn’t expecting any recognition for mentoring both high school and undergraduate students or my various leadership roles at UM. To me this is just one of my passions to do whatever I can to make sure other students interested in STEM, especially underrepresented minorities, can be afforded similar opportunities as myself,” said Donald. “One quote/proverb I always think about when it comes to service is ‘To whom much is given much is required.’”

Bassel often serves as a resource for new CHEPS students. Fellow CHEPS student Anna Learis said, “During project meetings, he would ensure that everyone had a chance to input their ideas and oftentimes made a point to introduce new members to the rest of the staff. I noticed that whenever a prospective new IOE student approached our supervisor Amy Cohn, she would habitually put them in touch with Bassel so that he could answer their questions and show off our work.”

Bassel is the co-founder of UMICH MLC, the first Lean consulting group on campus. He’s also part of PhiDE, the only pre-medical fraternity on campus, and works as an Orgs Study Group Facilitator for Science Learning Center. During his Freshman and Sophomore year, Bassel twice raised over $1,500 and participated in Alternative Spring Break trips to Camp For All in Burton Texas, a camp dedicated to providing assistance to children with physical and mental disabilities. He organized and lead the trip, choosing applicants from the Muslim Student Association (MSA). In addition, as Social Chair of the University’s MSA, he has continuously worked to build a sense of community on campus.

Bassel is also the president of the Arab Student Association and, in his two years as leader, has taken the annual cultural show from 400 guests to over 1300. In addition, he started the Middle Eastern and North African Consortium (MENA Consortium), a group of students that are leaders in their respective MENA organizations who meet regularly to assist one another and build community. One of the projects they are working on is establishing a Middle Eastern/North African box on all University applications so that more students can have representation in the University.

“It feels great being recognized for work on campus that I am so passionate about,” said Bassel of his MLK Spirit Award.

Congratulations to both Bassel and Donald for the much-deserved recognition!

2018 kick-off
2018 kick-off
2018 kick-off
January 12, 2018:

On Friday, January 12, 2018, CHEPS welcomed students, returning and new, to campus in a cozy meeting that marked the official kickoff of CHEPS activities in Winter 2018. Amy Cohn, associate director of CHEPS, extended her warmest welcome to the growing family of CHEPS students. She discussed important policies, procedures, and expectations of CHEPS and CHEPSters. She, also, introduced Julia Warner who joined the CHEPS family in December 2018 as a project manager. Ms. Warner will be working along with students to ensure that their research is well managed.

Jim Bagian, CHEPS director, on his part too welcomed all the excited students, reminding them of the CHEPS spirit and giving them some advice on professional conduct.

And, as usual, this semester CHEPS students come from very diverse academic backgrounds, covering almost all the different majors offered at U of M in engineering, computer sciences, and medicine. Students who have experienced working at CHEPS before return because of the unparalleled opportunities. We are incredibly proud of our growing family.

After the meeting, CHEPSters enjoyed a delicious dinner arranged by the CHEPS administrative assistant, Gene Kim. They enjoyed, too, some traditional sweets from Kuwait that Hanan Al-Awadhi, an IOE graduate student and a returning CHEPS student, brought in. Everything was in place for socializing, mingling with new friends and catching up with old ones. It was the perfect setting to play trivia together.

Now, with a successful kickoff, CHEPSters are ready to write a new chapter including research breakthroughs, interdisciplinary collaboration, and friendship while improving the safety and quality of healthcare delivery! Welcome, 2018!

bagian January 9, 2018:

CHEPS Director Dr. James Bagian, along with Douglas Paull, a VA surgeon and co-director of VA’s Ann Arbor-based National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS), wrote an invited editorial titled “Handovers During Anesthesia Care: Patient Safety Risk or Opportunity for Improvement?” which is published in the January 9, 2018 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as a response to a study published in the same issue by Jones et al.

Jones et al describe how complete handovers among anesthesiologists were associated with significantly poorer patient outcomes and conclude that complete handovers should be minimized.

Instead of minimizing complete handovers and viewing handovers as a vulnerability, Bagian and Paull recommend in their editorial to address underlying root causes – especially the use of explicit communication techniques and tools, in order to turn handoffs from a potential patient safety risk into an opportunity for improvement.

Read the full article at JAMA’s website.

jason and joanna
jason and joanna
January 5, 2018:

On Friday, January 5th, CHEPS hosted two alums, Joanna (Fleming) Blackmer and Jason Card, now working at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL). The two shared a presentation and held a discussion during a lunch and learn event. “One of my favorite things about CHEPS is our alums’ willingness to come back and mentor current students,” said CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn.

Joanna worked as a graduate research assistant for CHEPS and earned an MSE and BSE in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. Since graduating in 2014, she has contributed to multiple projects in the National Health Mission Area as a health systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. She has supported the Patient Centered Medical Home, Value Based Care, Trauma Center Verification and Designation, Dental Enterprise Patient Safety and developed the Medical Home Port Management Tool (acuity-based forecasting tool).

Jason Card is a CHEPS alum with MSE and BSE degrees in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. Since graduating in 2013, he has supported health systems optimization projects through performance improvement techniques, database design, population health analysis, simulation modeling, and change management. He is part of the Health Systems Engineering Group at APL with experience supporting a variety of clinical and ancillary services.

Joanna and Jason weren’t the only alums at the event. Eli Sherman was in attendance and said, “As a CHEPS and UM alum is was great to come back to visit and see that CHEPS is doing better than ever, continuing to lead the way in innovation in healthcare through its own work and by educating those that will drive change in the years to come.”

Jason and Joanna provided an overview of APL and its history as an advisor to the U.S. Government. They discussed APL’s Research and Exploratory Development Department, which oversees the health initiatives, and talked about life as an APL health systems engineer and analyst. They presented a high-level overview of current and past projects.

Donald Richardson, a CHEPSter and IOE PhD student in attendance, enjoyed learning more about the history of APL. “I didn’t realize (1) JHU/APL was initially started to help support the military in WWII by finding a way to better protect ships from air attacks. (2) Ever since they have been contracted with the government as a support lab and not focused on selling their services/products like a consulting firm. This complements the healthcare application projects very well by avoiding being salesmen and just focusing on helping the patients/medical professionals,” he said.

IOE undergraduate student, Riley McKeown, appreciated learning more about Joanna and Jason’s day to day work. He said, “It was great to learn from Jason and Joanna about projects they are working on to improve communication between multiple doctors treating the same patients, as well as the challenges they have faced during the implementation process.”

“I thought the Lunch and Learn was great,” said Michael Kalmus, also an IOE undergraduate. “I enjoyed learning more about the broad scope of the APL, value-based care and the interesting projects Joanna and Jason are currently working on. I also enjoyed hearing their insights on challenges in healthcare and how they are using analytics and systems engineering to solve them (i.e. creating a dashboard that allows different providers to access a patient’s medical records easily).”

Thank you to Joanna and Jason for returning to CHEPS and offering such an interesting lunch and learn presentation!

choi December 11, 2017:

Our final talk of the Fall 2017 Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar series featured Dr. Sung Won Choi from the University of Michigan Medical School presenting a talk titled “Multi-dimensional, Highly Time-resolved Big Data Approach for Disease Prediction.”

Dr. Sung Won Choi is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at the U of M Medical School and, in 2017, she was named the inaugural Edith S. Briskin / Shirley K Schlafer Research Professor of Pediatrics. She has a research interest in translational medicine, more specifically in the field of blood and marrow transplantation (BMT). She is recognized for her work in translating the use of histone deacetylase inhibition in BMT patients for prevention of a devastating complication known as graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

In her presentation, Dr. Choi spoke about one of the major unmet challenges in today’s care, individualized prediction of disease and disease-related events. In traditional care settings, disease-identification is symptom-based and unidimensional. For many patients with no evident symptoms or symptoms that are common across many diseases, this means a late onset of treatment. Patients with GVHD, a complication following the receipt of donor tissues (blood and marrow transplants) from a genetically different person, for example, suffer most from the late diagnosis. GVHD patients exhibit similar symptoms to other diseases such as skin rash, shortness of breath, weight loss and general fatigue, yet due to a unique condition. In GVHD, the donor immune cells attack the host body’s cells, including lungs, liver, and skin cells. Disease identification is only possible with the use of biomarkers.

So, in order to offer more patient-centered, more personalized care for blood and marrow transplantation patients, Dr. Choi in a joint effort with collaborators from machine learning (Dr. Wiens), medical oncology (Dr. Tewari), computational biology (Dr. Li) and mechanical engineering (Dr. Kurabayashi) at the U of M is using complex computational methods to collect multi-parameter, highly time-resolved data that would enable her and her team to make accurate short-term disease predictions, and then to start the medical intervention as early as possible (pre-symptoms state).That would make, she said, the intervention more effective, more personalized, and more patient-centered!

Now, as we adjourn this season, we wish you and your dear ones a very happy and a warm holiday. We will be looking forward to seeing you again for next year’s Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar series. Happy Holidays!

cohn
pozehl
strohbehn
December 4, 2017:

This December, the Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar series started off the month with a talk on “Block Scheduling for Medical Residents” featuring Dr. Amy Cohn, Dr. Garth Strohbehn, & Mr. William Pozehl.

Dr. Cohn is a professor of Industrial & Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan and the Associate Director for the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS). Her primary research interest is in robust and integrated planning for large-scale systems, predominantly in healthcare and aviation applications.

Dr. Strohbehn is a general internist and chief medical resident at the U of M Health System. He has been a member of the Internal Medicine Residency Program since 2014 and, along with three colleagues, chief resident since June 2017, where his major shared responsibilities include scheduling, training, mentoring and advocating for resident well-being. His primary research interest is in medical education, more particularly in educational systems redesign, novel educational methods (visual arts and mindfulness), and clinical research education.

Mr. Pozehl is a researcher at CHEPS. His work focuses on enhancing care delivery through building models to schedule care providers with the goals of improving schedule quality and reducing the burden of constructing these schedules.

In a joint talk, the speakers explained how scheduling medical residents to appropriate medical shifts remains a challenge to many academic health centers, including Michigan Medicine. These schedules must balance between institutional, professional, and educational requirements, in addition to individuals’ preferences (e.g. day-off requests). Many of these schedules are constructed manually, a time-consuming and error-prone process. Furthermore, manually-developed schedules tend to exhibit some degree of bias. Thus, in order to maintain the highest morale and well-being of the residents, and to enhance quality of patient care, the team developed a customized linear programming model that is capable of capturing the competing needs and the ever-evolving requirements of numerous residency programs at U of M, constructing schedules for more than 400 residents and 150 services annually. The automated scheduling significantly reduces time spent to construct a single schedule and improves schedule quality. The lecture concluded with a very thought-provoking discussion on how linear programming models could positively impact clinical practice while developing deep knowledge of complex systems in healthcare.

We look forward to seeing you in our last seminar for this season, Monday December 11, 2017 with a talk on “Multi-dimensional, Highly Time-resolved Big Data Approach for Disease Prediction” by Dr. Sung Won Choi from the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics.

kheterpal November 27, 2017:

On November 27, 2017, Dr. Sachin Kheterpal spoke as part of the Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar. Dr. Kheterpal is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Associate Dean for Research Information Technology at the University of Michigan Medical School. His career has been focused on the novel use of IT and electronic health records for patient care, quality improvement, and research. He is recognized as a national leader in perioperative large dataset clinical research and has published numerous articles, editorials and book chapters regarding intraoperative management and long-term postoperative outcomes. Using innovative techniques to integrate administrative, EHR and registry data across institutions, he leads the Multicenter Perioperative Outcomes Group, a research and quality improvement consortium of more than 40 anesthesiology and surgical departments.

In his presentation, titled “From Big Data to Small Decisions: Fulfilling the Potential of Precision Health,” Dr. Kheterpal discussed the new precision health initiative that the University of Michigan launched. It’s an initiative that spans all the schools and colleges of the U of M campus and brings together different disciplines to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. This initiative works to support the university’s mission and commitment to research, education, and service. He then spoke about the five work streams: Research, Cohort development, Data & Analytics/IT, Health Implementations, and Education & Training. He next spoke about how the initiative is still in its infancy and has planned over the next several years for growth.

The work that Dr. Kheterpal and those involved with the initiative will do has amazing implications for the future of healthcare at the University of Michigan

Please join us on Monday, December 4th, 2017 as Dr. Amy Cohn, Billy Pozehl, and Dr. Garth Strohbehn speak on “Block Scheduling for Medical Residents.”

Barnes November 20, 2017:

On November 20, 2017, the Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Geoff Barnes to come talk to us about Health Systems Engineering and Implementation Science: Using the Best of Both Worlds to Standardize Periprocedural Anticoagulation.

Geoffrey Barnes, MD, MSc, is a cardiologist and vascular medicine specialist at the University of Michigan. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, followed by medical school, residency and fellowship training at the University of Michigan. He has been on faculty at the University of Michigan since 2014. He co-directs the Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative (MAQI2), a collaborative of six health center anticoagulation clinics aimed at improving care for patients across the state of Michigan. Informed by his undergraduate engineering degree, he strives to use logical models to understand and improve healthcare delivery systems. His current research is focused on improving the delivery of anticoagulation care for patients undergoing surgical procedures.

In his presentation, Dr. Barnes introduces challenges in regard to the use of blood thinners for different health conditions. Blood thinners are used because a patient has a higher risk of blood clots in the heat or arteries. As blood clots, it can lead to heart attacks or even a stroke. However, there are challenges when it comes to using blood thinners. As blood thins, blood clots less which poses difficulty when it comes to possible surgeries while on blood thinners. For patients who are on blood thinners and need surgery, doctors advise patients to stop taking blood thinners a few days before because the effect of the drug does not start and stop immediately. Doctors have introduced medicine to bridge the gap between taking blood thinners to surgeries and back to taking blood thinners. However, the authors think that the new medicine will instead create an urgent need for an expansion as well as an evolvement of those traditional clinics, as there are three major purposes the new clinic could serve.

Join us next week for a talk on “From Big Data to Small Decisions: Fulfilling the Potential of Precision Health” by Sachin Kheterpal, MD, MBA.

Bagian November 13, 2017:

On November 13, 2017, the Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar featured Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety Director, James Bagian. In addition to his position as Director here at CHEPS, Dr. Bagian is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology in the Medical School and in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Previously, he served as the first Director of the VA National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) and the first Chief Patient Safety Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1999 to 2010 where he developed numerous patient safety related tools and programs that have been adopted nationally and internationally. Presently, he is applying systems engineering approaches to the analysis of medical adverse events and the development and implementation of systems-based corrective actions that will enhance patient safety primarily through preventive means.

In his presentation on “Patient Safety: Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them,” Dr. Bagian discussed how patient safety has become a commonly recognized challenge among not only care providers but also among patients throughout the world. Its rise to prominence was spurred by the Institute of Medicine’s (now called the National Academy of Medicine) landmark report titled ‘To Err Is Human.’ While initially, there was a good deal of denial in the medical profession that the level and frequency of harm to patients was not as high as the report contended, 44,000 to 98,000 annually, there was general agreement that the number by any accounting was too high. More recently, there have been reports that put the annual number of deaths as high as 250,000 making it the 3rd leading cause of death in the USA. This increase in the reported number of patients harmed may be more a result of the methods used in the counting process rather than an increase in the risk of harm due to care but reinforces the reality that the risk is still one that can benefit from corrective action.

Dr. Bagian discussed some of the barriers to improvement. Obstacles to improvement range from a failure to acknowledge that the problem exists, to who is responsible, to an over-simplistic and superficial perspective that seldom goes past the determination of proximate cause and implementation of siloed symptom-based corrective actions. The failure to routinely take a systems-based approach to the identification of vulnerabilities that place the patient at risk and failure to formulate and implement corrective actions that address these foundational vulnerabilities are the principal challenges that the patients and healthcare faces today. Dr. Bagian ended his seminar with a discussion of potential approaches to overcome the barriers to improvement.

Please join us on Monday, November 20th, 2017 to hear Dr. Geoffrey Barnes discuss “Health Systems Engineering and Implementation Science: Using the Best of Both Worlds to Standardize Periprocedural Anticoagulation.”

symposium
symposium
symposium
November 6, 2017:

On Monday November 6th, 2017 over 120 guests gathered for the annual Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety Symposium. Posters were on display representing a variety of research and projects from inside and outside of the university. Attendees came from throughout the university, representing Engineering, the School of Public Health, the Health System, the Medical School, the School of Nursing, and the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. Several, like returning alumni and local corporate representatives, also attended from outside the university. Attendees mingled throughout the poster rooms, learning about the research students and faculty are doing, and connecting with new and old friends.

This year’s poster winner was “A Dynamic Approach to Improve Chemotherapy Pre-mix Policies” presented by Donald Richardson, Hwon Tak, Matthew See, and Amy Cohn. Lauren Steimle also took home some treats after winning the raffle for tweeting about the symposium!

For the second time this year, alumni didn’t just attend the symposium and the traditional reunion dinner held the Friday before, several also took the time to hold a panel discussion for current CHEPS students. The panel focused on allowing participants to share their experiences in the healthcare field and answer questions about the industry.

One of the best parts of the symposium is seeing how big the CHEPS community has grown over the past year, and this year we had quite an impressive crowd. The energy and passion for collaboration and healthcare improvement was evident throughout the night. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Burke October 30, 2017:

On October 30, 2017, Dr. David Burke presented a seminar titled, “‘Deep Monitoring’ Chronic Disease in Underserved and Remote Populations” as part of the Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar series. His seminar reviewed initiatives led by University of Michigan faculty and external partners to address the growing challenge of chronic disease throughout the world, an issue exacerbated by a global healthcare workforce shortage.

Dr. Burke discussed how his team is co-opting technologies to aid in monitoring and patient education of chronic disease, especially in underserved populations. His team uses parallel technology strategies that rely on high-volume manufacturing of digital electronics and standardized transportation. Dr. Burke provided examples of applications, including coopting digital cameras and a video game system to use in remote health monitoring, as well as a renovated shipping container that can be used as a setting for providing vision or dental exams. His team’s impressive work is already making a difference in several areas including Jamaica; a short video about the team’s innovative eye clinic can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qfhuoYZoIY.

The work of Dr. Burke and his colleagues is providing great value to the University of Michigan, as well as external communities, through their impact on service, education, and research.

Please note: There will be no seminar on Monday November 6. In its place, please join us from 5-7:30PM in the 3rd and 4th floors of the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center for the 2017 Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety Symposium, RSVP here!

informs
informs
October 25, 2017:

The Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS) made a strong appearance at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Conference in Houston, Texas from October 22 – 25, 2017. This conference is one of the largest for those in operations research.

CHEPS brought a dedicated healthcare research presence, with each attendee presenting their research, either orally or by poster. Specifically, the CHEPS presentations at the conference were as follows:

  • Amy Cohn: Analysis of Patient Access for a Specialty Endocrinology Clinic
  • Rachel Moeckel: Challenges With Data Collection In Methods To Reduce Clinic Wait Times
  • Billy Pozehl: Algorithms to Generate Annual Rotation Schedules for Medical Residents
  • Donald Richardson: Predicting Patient Treatment Deferrals/no-shows To Improve Chemotherapy Pre-mix Policies
  • Bassel Salka: Night Team Scheduling For Pediatric Inpatient Residents
  • Karmel Shehadeh: Patient-centered and Personalized Scheduling of Colonoscopy Appointment
  • Hwon Tak: A Dynamic Approach To Improve Chemotherapy Pre-mix Policies

Rachel Moeckel, a second year Master’s student at CHEPS, stated the following of her experience: “I feel so grateful to have been able to attend INFORMS this year! It was exciting to be a part of this event, surrounded by thousands of people who are excited by some of the same things I am. It felt connecting relationally to spend time with those who attended from CHEPS. I also thought my poster presentation went well. I intentionally started conversations with those who would glance at my poster, hoping to make it easier to transition into presenting. Through engaging with people, I received many suggestions, possible connections, related research, and pertinent questions.”

Students gained exposure to companies looking for candidates with industrial engineering education and to a great deal of research that others were doing in this field. They also participated in networking/social events held on Monday evening: “Michigan Nite” and the Women in OR/MS Social.

And in the midst of all this, the group was able to enjoy Houston, exploring the underground tunnel system connecting many of the skyscrapers and visiting Space Center Houston for a tram tour of NASA Johnson Space Center.

Prosser October 9, 2017:

On October 9, 2017, our Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar featured Dr. Lisa Prosser from the Department of Pediatric and Communicable Diseases as well as the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. Dr. Prosser is also the director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Center (CHEAR). Here, her research focuses on measuring the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of childhood health interventions using methods of decision sciences and economics.

In her presentation on “Using Decision Modeling to Inform Newborn Screening Policy Decisions for Pompe Disease: A Case Study,” Dr. Prosser introduced the audience to the applications and advantages of using decision analysis in healthcare, specifically determining various newborn screening policies. She highlighted how these models allow for an extension of the time horizon beyond any clinical trials, allow the researcher to simulate both actual and hypothetical scenarios, as well as require that all assumption be explicitly defined and agreed on by experts in the field. Subsequently, these models also result in identifying sources of uncertainty which help prioritize future research.

Next, she introduced her case study on the process for introducing newborn screening for infantile Pompe disease. Any new condition suggested for screening must first be approved by the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. While this committee has met since 2004, decision modeling has only been incorporated in the last 5 years to better inform the committee on which conditions to approve for newborn screening. Dr. Prosser stressed the importance of avoiding the use of very complex models due to them being perceived as a “black box” and therefore disregarded by policymakers.

She then presented her decision model for infantile Pompe disease screening and clinical identification. Focusing on a 3-year time horizon, the model projected the key health benefits and harms if the newborns were screened for a particular condition. Considering the predicted 4 million US newborns each year, her model projected that screening methods will identify 134 cases of the Pompe disease and anticipated 13 averted deaths with 26 additional children who will not require invasive ventilation. While life-saving for the onset cases, there is also the consideration of overdiagnosis for a patient who would have never shown symptoms otherwise. Even with no symptoms, these children potentially can be denied by certain life or health insurances due to their pre-existing condition on record. Dr. Prosser uses this point to motivate her future research by expanding the 3-year time horizon to a lifetime model. This will allow her to capture the potential harms of a late onset diagnosis. She also plans to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis which includes both the cost of screening as well as long-term treatment cost.

Following the presentation, Dr. Prosser continued the discussion over Q&A on her decision analysis model as well as challenges posed by the nature of a problem involving federal policymakers, pharmaceutical companies, patients, providers, and insurances companies.

Please come back and join us on Monday, October 30th, 2017 to hear Dr. David Burke discuss his work on “Deep Monitoring Chronic Disease in Underserved and Remote Populations.”

Yang October 2, 2017:

Our first Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering seminar in the month of October took place on October 2, 2017 and featured Dr. Xi Jessie Yang from the Department of Industrial & Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dr. Yang joined U of M in 2016 as an assistant professor after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT. She earned a PhD (2014) and a MEng (2009) in Human Factors Engineering and a BEng from Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2006), all from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interests include human-robot interaction and human factors in healthcare. Please refer to http://icrl.engin.umich.edu/ for more information.

In her presentation on “Robotic Assistance in Coordination of Patient Care,” Dr. Yang introduced three studies that investigated the use of automated, embodied systems in healthcare settings in order to enhance efficiency and reduce cost. The first study evaluated the degree of trust of robotic assistance on bed allocation and personnel the healthcare providers have in comparison to a computer-based program. The study found higher rates of trust in the assistive device recommendation when the device is more sociable (in this case the robot) and when the proposed recommendations are of quality.

The second study, on the other hand, investigated the irrationality in trust assessment. Dr. Yang explained that trust in automated decision support systems is not rational as people are more likely to trust a decision support system if the decision is more difficult for them to make on their own. She added that the study found that the magnitude of trust loss is larger than the magnitude of trust gain.

She strengthened her earlier findings with a final study that investigated trust evolution & stabilization. The study had participants pilot drones and showed them two displays to aid in threat detection: a binary display and a likelihood display. They then used benchmark surveys and questionnaires to quantify the trust levels, which showed that trust evolves over time, eventually stabilizes, and can be modeled as a first-order LTI system.

The lecture concluded with a very thought-provoking discussion as research in healthcare automation continues to pose engaging questions. Of main interest were social behaviorism and technology, ethics, and regulations.

Join us next week for a seminar on “Using Decision Modeling to Inform Newborn Screening Policy Decisions for Pompe Disease: A Case Study” by Lisa Prosser on October 9, 2017.

Centeno September 25, 2017:

The third lecture in the 2017 Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering Seminar Series took place on September 25, 2017 and featured Dr. Grisselle Centeno, an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at the University of South Florida. Her research and teaching interests include optimization-based modeling for the planning and control of operations in healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing industries. She possesses experience in working with large-scale mathematical programming models and building decision support systems. Her research work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), among other sources. Dr. Centeno is also highly involved in conducting research in engineering education and promoting the growth of a diverse engineering workforce. Dr. Centeno’s talk titled “The Bloodmobile Routing Problem” delved into how blood centers must determine on a daily basis a set of locations among a group of potential sites to route bloodmobiles for blood collection so as to avoid shortages for health interventions.

Dr. Centeno began her talk with some general background on blood donations in the US by asking the audience a few questions:

  • How often does someone in the US need blood? (Every 2 seconds)
  • How many blood donations are needed every day? (41,000+ donations needed/day)
  • How many components are transfused each year in the U.S.? (21 million)
  • For a single car accident victim, up to how many pints of blood might be needed? (~100 pints)
  • What percentage of the U.S. population is eligible to donate? (38%)
  • What percentage of the population donates each year? (~10%)

Considering how blood is such a scarce commodity, Dr. Centeno then spoke about the differences between a traditional supply chain and a blood supply chain and noted that the structure is in reverse since platelets, red blood cells, and plasma are all extracted separately. She also noted the potential threat to human life if a shortage were to occur.

Dr. Centeno then when on to discuss the integer programming models used to model the problem in a way to incorporate variable durations in bloodmobile visits, uncertainty in blood potentials and multiple bloodmobile types. She demonstrated how small instances of the problem (up to 30 locations to visit) were solved to optimality using the branch-and-price algorithm, and CPLEX was used to solve larger-scale settings of the problem.

The study showed that as demand increases, a higher number of bloodmobiles must be operated but if there are more donation locations to select from, fewer bloodmobiles are required and the distance traveled to satisfy the blood demand is shorter. It also showed that the total distance traveled is highly dependent on random donation locations.

Please join us on Monday, October 2 to hear Xi Jessie Yang present on “Nurses’ Trust in Robotic Assistance on the Labor Floor.”

heps dinner September 20, 2017:

On Wednesday September 20th, after a long day of classes, the old and the new students of the Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (HEPS) Masters program came together for a nice dinner at Cardamom, a casual eatery serving up modern & traditional Indian cuisine. While eating delicious curry, students got to know each other a lot better as they conversed and shared stories about their own undergraduate experiences. Some even realized that they shared the same classes together! Needless to say, it was a great time for everyone.

johnson September 18, 2017:

The second lecture in the 2017 Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering Seminar Series featured Dr. Sharon Johnson, a Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering in the Foisie School of Business at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Dr. Johnson recently served as Faculty Director of the Healthcare Delivery Institute (HDI) at WPI and is currently a member of HDI’s Faculty Steering Committee. She is also currently a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. Dr. Johnson’s talk titled, “Secure Messaging and Patient Portals: Designing Customer-Facing Processes,” explored process impacts and design guidelines for patient-facing, secure messaging (SM) systems.

In her talk, Dr. Johnson discussed two different studies. The first centered on the characteristics of SM use at two Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities, while the second dealt with patient portal use at a multi-specialty clinic. Dr. Johnson began her talk by getting audience members to think about the role of patient-facing technologies in healthcare, before presenting them with examples of real messages encountered by clinics and asking them to think about the steps and workflow involved in resolving the issues at hand.

Dr. Johnson then further discussed the purpose of her project in the context of garnering a greater understanding of the types of messages flowing through a secure messaging system as well as the tasks, activities, and resources involved in addressing patient needs through this medium. To this end, Dr. Johnson and her team analyzed a total of 1000 message threads from ten different patient care teams from different parts of the country. Messages were analyzed for content, and team workflow in addressing secure messages was also captured. Site visits were then performed and semi-structured interviews conducted in order to gain a richer understanding of how SM was used within a particular care team and how the technology was perceived among team members. Dr. Johnson and her team then created a process map of how decisions were made when messages were received and identified major workflow patterns around SM use. Future work aims to better understand variation in flow through the system with the ultimate goal of influencing design processes. Future work aims to better understand variation in flow through the system with the ultimate goal of influencing design processes.

The second study Dr. Johnson highlighted concerned patient portal use in a multi-specialty group medical practice. Dr. Johnson and her team collected clickstream data, encounters, and patient surveys for 632 patients over the course of two years, looking for patterns and predictors in portal use and health status. She found portal usage to be proportional to clinical encounters and that patients with poorer health tended to use the portal more. Additionally, perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of the patient portal were found to have a significant effect on perceived health management.

From this study, Dr. Johnson and her team drew broad conclusions about process design guidelines for the creation of patient portals and other patient-facing technologies.
Upon the conclusion of her presentation, Dr. Johnson entertained several questions from audience members.

Please join us on September 25th for a talk titled, “The Bloodmobile Routing Problem,” presented by Dr. Grisselle Centeno.

cicchese September 11, 2017:

The Providing Better Healthcare through Systems Engineering Seminar Series kicked off on Monday, September 11, featuring a talk from Joseph Cicchese titled, “Identifying Optimal Antibiotic Regimens Regimens for Tuberculosis Tuberculosis Treatment.” Joseph is a PhD candidate in Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan and works with Dr. Jennifer Linderman. The seminar was attended by members from across the University community, including the College of Engineering, Medical School, and School of Public Health.

In his talk, Joseph shared an optimization-driven approach to modeling tuberculosis (TB) antibiotic treatment. He first provided background on TB, including its global impact of 1.8 million deaths per year and review of how TB interacts with granulomas in the body. Joseph also discussed inherent challenges in investigating TB treatment, like insufficient animal models and an extremely wide range of potential therapies for consideration.

When considering how to model TB, Joseph introduced the basic multi-scale model used to understand granuloma formation and function. This multi-scale model links an agent-based model, a receptor trafficking/signaling model, and a soluble molecule diffusion model. Joseph demonstrated this model’s functioning using a simulation to model infection and granuloma development.

Joseph then discussed how he is using an optimization model to incorporate pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic elements of antibiotic therapy. The key question of this optimization model is to understand “what is the best antibiotic regimen for TB?” by investigating the regimen design space. Joseph compared a genetic algorithm versus surrogate-assisted optimization to understand each method’s accuracy and efficiency. He presented the results of this optimization model for isoniazid and rifampin, with emphasis on results from surrogate-assisted optimization.

Following the presentation of his work, Joseph entertained several questions from the crowd on drug interactions and modeling methods.

Please join us on September 18 for a talk titled “Secure Messaging and Personal Health Records: Designing Customer-Facing Processes” by Sharon Johnson.

fall kick-off
fall kick-off
September 7, 2017:

As the new semester starts, CHEPS is welcoming students, old and new, back to campus. This past Thursday, September 7th, the annual fall kickoff meeting took place at the SI North CHEPS office. As usual, Associate Director Amy Cohn sat down with a full room of excited students to extend the warmest welcome to all of them.

Additionally, we are glad to be hosting Professor Sharon Johnson from Worcester Polytechnic Institute at CHEPS this year. Professor Johnson said hi to all the students and says she is looking forward to working with the team. During the meeting, important policies, processes, and expectations were discussed. For the past several years, CHEPS has continued growing at a healthy pace and standards have been gradually established for more efficient operations of the center.

After the official meeting, the CHEPSters had time to socialize and mingle with new friends and catch up with the old over delicious Mexican food kindly arranged by Gene Kim. CHEPSters had a great time playing board-games as the evening went on. Sharing cheerful laughs and board-game victories, students at CHEPS definitely knew how to get the semester off to a great start!

This semester, CHEPS students come from a diverse academic background again, ranging from Chemical Engineering senior to IOE PhD. Many students have conducted research with CHEPS during the summer and decided to continue their work in the fall because of the unparalleled opportunities and awesome people. Several students were away for summer internships but were glad to re-join the CHEPS family.

Wesley Chen, a new HEPS master student, has been with CHEPS since last summer and was in Jacksonville this summer. “My internship was nice this summer but there is nothing quite like working on a meaningful project with these cool kids,” he said. Bill Zhang, a third- year HEPS master student, was delighted to be back as well after a summer interning at Cleveland Clinic. Bill said, “It was a privilege to work at the #2 hospital in the country and learn so much about healthcare operations. However, coming back to CHEPS is special to me because this is where I feel at home.”

With a great kickoff event in the book, the CHEPS family is definitely ready for another semester of improving the safety and quality of healthcare delivery!

discover September 1, 2017:

Congratulations to CHEPS collaborator and Associate Professor in The Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, Mariel Lavieri, who has been named the IOE Department Richard Wilson Faculty Scholar for a two-year period beginning September 1, 2017. She is an outstanding teacher, researcher, mentor, and colleague. This honor follows several other major awards that Mariel and her students have won in the past 12 months.

discover August 1, 2017:

On Tuesday, August 1st, students and faculty gathered to hear from Adam VanDeusen, a new IOE PhD student. Adam walked us through his post undergrad adventures and shared some insights from his multidisciplinary experiences. After completing his bachelors in IOE from the University of Michigan, Adam went on to get his MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale School of Public Health. His research work and professional career took him from Ghana to Washington DC, and then to Minnesota before returning home to Ann Arbor. Throughout the last few years he’s worked on a variety of projects, including cost-effectiveness research, healthcare leadership consulting, and ED operations analyses. Adam described some benefits and challenges of sometimes being the only engineer in a healthcare setting and provided concrete advice to students entering the workforce. Adam brings a range of skills and experiences to the CHEPS team, and we are looking forward to working with him this fall!

discover
discover
July 28, 2017:

CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn as well as several students who collaborate with CHEPS attended the 2017 INFORMS Healthcare Conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands from July 26th to the 28th. The theme of this year’s conference was “optimizing operations and outcomes.”

Amy Cohn chaired a panel and presented a talk titled “Multi-objective Criteria Scheduling in Healthcare.” She said of the panel, “I particularly liked that there were people from all over the world and so we weren’t just focusing on the rules and the customs of the U.S. healthcare system but we could hear how other countries had similar or different problems.” Both her talk and panel generated a lot of good questions and lively discussion. In addition, she enjoyed getting the chance to catch up with colleagues. “I really liked getting to see folks from INFORMS and healthcare that I only see every so often. I got to get caught up with Julie Ivy and Harriet Nembhard,” she said, mentioning that they even had a little time to enjoy exploring the city.

Lauren Steimle, and IOE PhD student who attended presented a talk titled, “Optimizing Medical Treatment Decisions For The Prevention Of Heart Attack And Stroke.” Her session was chaired by IOE PhD student, Selin Merdan, who presented a talk on “Robust Optimization Framework to Account for Prediction Errors for Cancer Diagnosis.”

Lauren said, “I particularly enjoyed Dimitris Bertsimas’ plenary talk ‘Personalized Medicine: A Vision for Research and Education.’ He argued that using models that are interpretable by physicians, even if they do not perform quite as well as more complex models, is worth it if this makes the results more likely to be adopted in practice. Also, before the conference, I attended the Healthcare Operations Research summer school put on by the Center for Healthcare Operations and Improvement Research at the University of Twente. The summer school was a great opportunity to learn more about current methods and meet other students using operations research to solve problems in healthcare.”

Another IOE PhD student in attendance, Emily Tucker, presented a talk titled “Incentivizing Supply Chain Resiliency To Prevent Drug Shortages.” She said of her conference experience, “I spent about 2 weeks in the Netherlands and had a great experience at the Healthcare Operations Research Summer School (hosted by CHOIR) and the INFORMS Healthcare conference. I met folks from all over the world, and based on a group project at the summer school, a group of us (currently PhD students in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Canada, and the US) are planning to start piloting a project to teach herd immunity. It was also great to discuss and present my work – I connected with several researchers interested in drug shortages (my dissertation topic), and I look forward to future conversations with them. And of course, the Netherlands is a beautiful country! It was fun to see windmills, museums, and eat lots of cheese.”

discover
discover
July 28, 2017:

On Thursday and Friday July 27-28th, students between the 8th and 10th grade were given the opportunity to learn more about different engineering majors at the annual Michigan Discover Engineering event. CHEPS Junior Bassel Salka took the lead in organizing and instructing the IOE session of the program by introducing students to Industrial and Operations Engineering, discussing examples of IOE in the real world, completing the Resident Shift Scheduling Game, and giving a mini lesson on optimization methods. CHEPSters Dale Mallette and Anna Learis also helped out with the event by guiding the students through the Resident Shift Scheduling Game and answering any questions they may have. When asked what the most satisfying part of the event was, Anna replied, “I loved seeing how excited the kids became when they learned about the different aspects of IOE and saw its effect on their daily lives.”

discover
discover
July 21, 2017:

Karmel Shedah, CHEPS and IOE PhD student, and Billy Pozel, CHEPS Research Area Specialist, traveled to Quebec from July 17 – 21, 2017 for The International Federation of Operational Research Societies (IFORS) Conference.

“This was my first opportunity to attend and present at an international conference,” Billy said. “I am so fortunate that CHEPS affords me the opportunity to travel to experience a different culture and share our work with a global audience.”

IFORS was also Karmel’s first international conference with CHEPS. In addition to enjoying the beauty of Quebec City, she said she was amazed by the quality of the conference, research presentations, and educational sessions.

“A large body of professionals, from academic and industrial backgrounds, attended our research presentation on developing a decision support tool to optimize colonoscopy appointment scheduling (for colorectal cancer screening),” said Karmel. “There was a consensus among the audience that our approach will improve the quality of colonoscopy appointment scheduling and procedure, and is of significant theoretical contribution as well. Additionally, some research groups, who work on closely related problems, shared research experience and discussed opportunities for future collaboration. It was rewarding to have professionals, from different backgrounds, confirming the impact of the work we do at CHEPS in improving the safety and quality of healthcare delivery.”

In addition to the conference, Karmel and Billy had the chance to visit some historical places in Quebec City. Both agree the trip was a wonderful experience.

hong July 11, 2017:

Young-Chae Hong successfully defended his PhD thesis, titled “Using Dominance in Solving Complex, Combinatorial Optimization Problems: Applications from Healthcare Provider Scheduling and Vehicle Routing,” on Tuesday, June 11. Young-Chae’s dissertation focused on the study of healthcare provider scheduling with multiple conflicting metrics and a column generation approach to solving vehicle routing problem based on dynamic programming. In his research, he utilized dominance to generate Pareto-dominant solutions for the multi-criteria optimization problem. Also, he analyzed the role of dominance in the column generation approach to solving the vehicle routing problem. He developed the mathematical approach to finding a Pareto point and mathematically proved that the approach can find the complete Pareto Frontier. He demonstrated both the tractability and the practicality of our approach as applied to the University of Michigan Pediatric Emergency Department. Congratulations, Dr. Hong!

lemay July 11, 2017:

Brian Lemay’s paper titled, “New Methods for Resolving Conflicting Requests with Examples from Medical Residency Scheduling” was awarded the 2017 Murty Prize for being the best research paper on Optimization by an IOE student. The paper proposes an optimization based method that identifies maximally-feasible and minimally-infeasible sets of time-off requests which can then be used by decision makers to select their preferred schedule. Although the paper focuses on a residency scheduling problem, the proposed method is applicable to any problem involving conflicting requests. A version of the paper co-authored by Prof Amy Cohn, Prof Marina Epelman, and Dr. Stephen Gorga was recently accepted for publication in the Production and Operations Management (POM) Journal.

Brian earned his Ph.D. in May after successfully defending his dissertation titled, “Addressing Challenges in Healthcare Provider Scheduling.” During his time at Michigan, Brian worked closely with CHEPS students and faculty members for his research, with Prof Amy Cohn serving as his advisor and dissertation chair. Currently, Brian is working as the Analysis, Assessments, and Lessons Learned Division Chief for Air Force Special Operations Command.

lunch and learn June 29, 2017:

On Thursday, June 29th, Stephanie Castaing, a registered nurse and CHEPS alum, and Jeremy Castaing, a PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering and also a CHEPS alum, spoke to CHEPS students and staff about their work. As described in the June 1, 2017 section, Stephanie and Jeremy developed a tool to create even patient assignments for nurses. Stephanie had the vision for the tool after she recognized that patient assignments created by hand by the charge nurse were incredibly time-consuming and inefficient. She partnered with Jeremy, who coded the Patient Assignment Tool, or PAT.

Stephanie and Jeremy showed CHEPS students and staff a demo of the PAT as well as the code behind the scenes of the tool. They also discussed several problems that they faced throughout the process of implementing the PAT and their subsequent tips in dealing with those situations. Stephanie described the difficulties in getting people on board with the new tool, specifically due to the fact that “people were comfortable with the old system of making the assignments by hand.” In working to convince her coworkers and managers of the advantages of the PAT, Stephanie stressed the importance of being prepared to highlight the tool’s major benefits, and in showcasing the tool by playing around with it at work.

Stephanie and Jeremy also discussed the importance of being persistent throughout the process with management and the nurses. When collecting pre and post-implementation surveys from the nurses, they said persistence was key. Stephanie made sure to relay the fact that the sooner the pre-implementation surveys were collected, the sooner the PAT could assist the charge nurses and other floor nurses in creating balances patient assignments.

Now that the PAT has been implemented, the time to create patient assignments has drastically reduced from over an hour to just minutes. It was received very well by Stephanie’s coworkers and management, as well as other departments in the hospital and the nursing dean. Jeremy may be busy in the future adjusting the PAT for other nursing programs!

summit
summit
June 28, 2017:

On Wednesday June 28, 2017, students and staff gathered at CHEPS for a lunch and learn with Dr. Vikram Tiwari. Dr. Tiwari is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology & Biomedical Informatics at the Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine. He is also the Director of Surgical Business Analytics at the University Hospital. Dr. Tiwari’s two roles provide the ideal environment to research real problems, with real data, and apply solutions to operations within the health system.

He presented two recent projects, one focused on predicting surgical volume by day and another, managing operating room capacity at the physician level. Through statistical models and linear programing tools, Dr. Tiwari uses science to better manage processes and capacity within the health system. While the science is fascinating, the most valuable lesson from the day was how important visual analytics and presentation tools are. No matter how good an analysis is, if the analysis is not communicated effectively, the results do not matter. This lesson must be kept in mind as we strive to achieve our mission at CHEPS; to improve the safety and quality of healthcare delivery, we must remember the necessity of strong visual and communication skills.

gise June 23, 2017:

On June 23rd, several CHEPS students were able to help out with the Girls in Science and Engineering (GISE) summer day camp here at the University. The GISE program is a week long day camp for girls that have completed the 7th or 8th grades and that are interested in science and engineering. Participants meet women engineers and scientists at the University and engage in exciting activities to learn about the science fields.

One of these activities, the Emergency Department (E.D.) simulation, is a fun and active way for the girls to learn about the basics of Industrial and Operations Engineering (I.O.E.). CHEPS students, along with other engineering student volunteers, helped run the simulation and talk to the campers about engineering. The activity began with a brief presentation that gave the girls a broad definition of what an engineer is and provided some examples of real-world cases in which engineering is used. The girls were also introduced to a few basic I.O.E. terms, such as “objective,” “constraint,” and “bottleneck.”

With this engineering background in place, the E.D. simulation was underway! The girls were given roles: a triage nurse, an E.D nurse and physician, a lab technician, a hospitalist, a transporter, and of course the patients. They were then told the rules and objective of the E.D. simulation, the latter being to get as many healthy patients as possible leaving the E.D. in five minutes.

During the first round, the girls quickly became acclimated to their roles and were eager to have a well-running E.D. However, it became apparent that the current setup of the hospital had major drawbacks and was extremely chaotic. The girls paused to brainstorm ways to get more patients through the emergency department in the next round. They then voted on the change they thought would have the greatest impact on their E.D. and set off on round two to beat their previous number of discharged patients.

The campers grew very committed to making their E.D. run smoothly and effectively. The second round of the simulation ran much better than the first, and the third was the best. Each time, more healthy patients were discharged from the hospital and the girls were proud for beating their previous record. Not only did the campers have a blast and feel rewarded for their work in the E.D. simulation, they learned several fundamental principles of I.O.E. and saw how they were used in a real-world example. One camper noted “I didn’t realize that industrial operations engineering could be used in so many different scenarios, like in a hospital. This game was fun, too!”

summit
summit
June 8, 2017:

On Thursday, June 8th, CHEPS hosted four healthcare executives for a panel event, facilitated by James Molloy, a managing director at Citi Global Markets and IOE alumnus. The panel included Todd Hofheins, Former CFO at Providence Health & Services, Michael Hulefeld, COO at Ochsner Health System, Elliot Joseph, CEO at Hartford Healthcare, and Scott Nordlund, EVP Partnership, Growth & Innovation at Select Medical Corporation. Students, faculty, and industry professionals gathered to discuss issues currently challenging the healthcare industry and how industrial and operations engineering skills can be applied to the healthcare space.

The conversation began with some stage setting as the panelists discussed the history of the US’s reimbursement scheme and how this has driven operations and strategies of our healthcare systems. In a fee for service model, cost of services, value, quality, and consumer desires are not the motivators; organizations have been financially rewarded for volume, increasing throughput as much as possible. However, there has been a shift away from volume, towards value. Insurance companies are restructuring payment models to reimburse for services that are high quality and appropriate. Irrespective of political party, the industry agrees that healthcare is too expensive and the focus must be on keeping people healthy. These basic truths are encouraging organizations to focus on no-regret strategies, those that will support the business regardless of current policy changes. As Michael Hulefeld said, “Despite federal uncertainty, there are things that are just the right thing to do… we have to get costs down and improve safety, supporting patients across their care continuum.”

The conversation then shifted into variation across states and even within different local markets as Todd Hofheins discussed the variations he has seen through Providence’s markets. Provider recruitment, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement models, the commercial plans’ market shares, even the density of consumers will have geographical differences. To be successful, an organization must understand these differences and adapt their strategies accordingly. Health systems must also react to the increasing consumer empowerment and organizations must deliver on cost and quality transparency demands.

As the event came to a close, the executives discussed the utility of a degree from the University of Michigan and provided advice to students as they entered their careers. Jim Molloy emphasized the importance of process-oriented thinking and how crucial sound statistics are. Scott Nordlund said, “There’s a ton of data, but no one knows how to use it effectively and strategically. Managing data and information is going to be just as important as managing patients.”

Each panelist stressed the importance of teamwork. As engineers, we will never be as knowledgeable about the clinical aspect of care as the clinical providers; therefore, it’s really important to work with the clinicians to understand the processes before putting together solutions. Luckily that’s one thing we do really well at CHEPS, working with multidisciplinary teams to develop innovative solutions! Elliot Joseph left the audience with one last piece of advice, something that we don’t often touch upon in our engineering curriculum as much as we should. He said, “Learn the art and science of change management. You can have all of the insights but without the softer, change management skills, you may never be able to effect change.”

As the participants filed out of the lecture hall, moving over to the reception area, you could feel the excitement in the air. At the reception, many project teams shared their research on posters which generated a great deal of discussion and excitement.

On Friday, panelists from the Healthcare Summit were invited back to the Lurie Engineering Building to speak with CHEPS students and staff. While enjoying the delicious breakfast, attendees happily discussed the previous day’s Summit and the panelists were given the opportunity to learn more about CHEPS and its ongoing projects. Scott Nordlund, one of the panelists, couldn’t help but comment on how great of an opportunity CHEPS is for University of Michigan students to get involved in healthcare management. After the breakfast, Bassel Salka, a pre-med student in IOE commented, “It was such a privilege to spend quality time with such accomplished professionals. I have never been more enthused about healthcare.”

Healthcare may be complicated, but it is full of opportunity. Those with an ability to systematically work through the complexities have a chance to make a real contribution to the industry, ultimately impacting people during their most vulnerable moments. Students at the University of Michigan have so many resources to cultivate the skills necessary to be successful within the healthcare industry. It will be exciting to see what the next generation of Wolverines is able to accomplish!

barnes
barnes
June 5, 2017:

On Monday, June 5, 2017, the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Public Safety (CHEPS) hosted a Lunch and Learn for Dr. Geoff Barnes to discuss his project, “Anticoagulation and Endoscopy – Making Logic from Chaos.” For many patients who take long-term anticoagulants, undergoing procedures (such as colonoscopy) requires complex management of their medications. In his talk, Dr. Barnes explored the current process for managing these medications and how IOE principals can be applied to design a better system.

Dr. Barnes received his undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003, followed by medical school and fellowship at the University of Michigan. His areas of research include anticoagulation, venous thromboembolism, quality improvement, and shared decision making. Currently, Dr. Barnes co-directs the Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative (MAQI2).

Attendees listened intently to the presentation from Dr. Barnes. One talk attendee, Diana, who is a rising sophomore starting her journey in IOE this coming fall, said, “I have always been interested in both math and biology, and research like this seems like the best of both worlds.”

Thank you to Dr. Barnes for an interesting an informative talk!

stephanie June 1, 2017:

Stephanie Castaing, CHEPS alum and registered nurse, was named a finalist in the University of Michigan’s 2017 President’s Staff Innovation Awards for her work on a tool that helps charge nurses create balanced patient assignments.

Stephanie saw charge nurses taking a significant amount of time creating assignments, making them unavailable to assist with patients during this time. Designed by Stephanie and coded by Jeremy Castaing, another CHEPS alum, the Patient Assignment Tool (PAT) was developed to balance patient assignments and save time. The tool includes an input tab that allows users to type-in patient variables such as acuity and isolation precautions and an output tab that reports the optimized patient assignments given those variables.

In addition to saving time and creating more balanced patient assignments, the tool allows charge nurses to visualize the location of patients and patient sets from the outputs. Additionally, sets are more balanced, meaning nurses do not have to come early to pick their patient assignments in fear of getting a heavy patient assignment. There has been nothing but positive feedback from the charge nurses using the tool since implementation in October 2016. Not only charge nurses have noticed a change, but staff nurses have also seen an improvement in terms of pre-assigned patients, distance between patients in a given set, and overall assignment fairness.

kickoff
kickoff
kickoff
May 12, 2017:

On Friday, May 12, 2017, the CHEPS team had their annual summer kickoff meeting. CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn sat down with the students and staff, old and new, to talk about policies, projects, and expectations for the summer. After the meeting, the CHEPSters had the opportunity to bond and get to know one another over pizza, wings, and salad provided by Gene Kim. With the mouthwatering smell of pizza and cheerful laughs of CHEPSters filling the halls of SI North, it was clear that the summer was off to a great start.

When asked what she will miss most about CHEPS when moving on to medical school, Anna Munaco, a recent graduate and CHEPS veteran, replied saying “I am going to miss the people the most, they are such an amazing group from all different backgrounds, there is no other place like this.” Anna’s sentiment is shared by many others here at CHEPS.

Justin Rogers, a student that just recently joined CHEPS last week says he can relate to Anna’s thoughts. Justin says the thing he is most excited about CHEPS is “Getting to know the people better. In my short time here they have all been amazing.”

The CHEPS family is ready for another productive summer!

lemay
lemay
May 4, 2017:

Brian Lemay successfully defended his PhD thesis, titled “Addressing Challenges in Healthcare Provider Scheduling”, on May 4, 2017. Brian’s dissertation focused on the study of several applications of assigning healthcare providers to various types of schedules (such as rooms, locations, services, and rotations) with the common goal of satisfying healthcare provider preferences. In his work, he examined specific examples from the healthcare industry including building surgical OR and clinic room schedules, assigning medical residents to block schedules, and scheduling medical residents with conflicting requests for time off. He developed several mathematical approaches to solving these problems and illustrated that there are trade-offs in each type of modeling. His work showed that adjusting the mathematical model to match the specifics of a scheduling problem can improve the generated schedules and lead to reduced solve times. Reduced solve times can then, in turn, allow schedulers to examine “what-if” scenarios in order to determine the schedule that works best for them and their personnel.

Congratulations, Dr. Lemay!

mcauliffe April 13, 2017:

HEPS masters student Andrea McAuliffe was recently awarded an AAMI-HSEA Health Systems Engineering Scholarship. This new annual scholarship, established by the AAMI Foundation in partnership with the Health Systems Engineering Alliance (HSEA), is intended to help build competencies and promote educational opportunities to support the adoption of a systems approach to healthcare technology and to support talented young professionals entering healthcare.

“I’m honored to receive the AAMI-HSEA scholarship,” Andrea said. “As a dual degree student, I hope to merge the fields of engineering and public health to pioneer solutions to improve healthcare delivery. Support from AAMI and HSEA will allow me to focus on my education and research while at the University of Michigan, and I am very grateful for this opportunity.”

mcauliffe April 7, 2017:

On Friday, April 7, 2017, CHEPS students joined BME students in a guest lecture of BME 499: Clinical Observation and Needs Finding led by Jonathan Cohn. Jonathan is a well-known journalist who is an expert in U.S. healthcare policy. In his lecture, he covered a brief history of the US Healthcare System to show how our system got to where it is today. Jonathan emphasized that in any decision involving healthcare, there are always tradeoffs that should be considered.

After the lecture, BME students and CHEPsters headed right next door to CHEPS for a reception of socializing and snacking. Multidisciplinary collaboration remains a strength of the CHEPS program and helps expose students to a broader range of knowledge and experience!

chaar February 22, 2017:

On Feb 22nd 2017, the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS) had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Jarir Chaar for a lunch and learn talk. Dr. Chaar graduated from the University of Michigan with a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1990. He then moved on to work at IBM where he leads multiple teams, executed research projects, and is currently working as the Director of IBM Watson Health.

During his talk, Dr. Chaar focused on how IBM research plays an important role in interfacing between the industry – whose business requirements are constantly evolving and academia – with whom they work collaboratively to answer some of the most complex questions and come up with disruptive technologies. The fact that IBM holds more patents than all the tech giants combined lays a testament to the huge push for innovation at IBM.

For the faculty, staff, and students at CHEPS, this was a great opportunity to learn about the forefront of today’s technology being used to carry out predictive analytics in healthcare and a multitude of its applications in areas like DNA sequencing, personalized drug recommendation, optimizing recovery and brain-inspired computer systems.

The students used this opportunity to understand Dr. Chaar’s view on some of the questions we’ve all been asking ourselves “What are some of the disruptive technologies one can expect in healthcare over the next couple of years”, “What is IBM Watson Health’s growth strategy?” , “Is the Bitcoin system going to gain substantial backing from tech companies?” etc.

Dr. Chaar ended the session by expressing his strong interest to continue engaging with CHEPS, work collaboratively on healthcare projects, and aid seamless transfer of the right talent into IBM.

rca February 14, 2017:

On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, Jim Bagian, CHEPS Director and Joe DeRosier, CHEPS Program Manager, presented a workshop on human factors, patient safety, and root cause analysis (RCA) for attendees from the University of Michigan Hospital as well as a few CHEPS students. Root Cause Analysis is a patient safety improvement activity that is focused on identifying and eliminating or controlling system vulnerabilities that can result in patient injury. Investigative tools such as flow diagramming, cause and effect diagramming, triggering questions, the five rules of causation, and the action hierarchy were covered in the workshop.

jeremy defense January 13, 2017:

Jeremy Castaing successfully defended his PhD thesis, titled “Scheduling Under Uncertainty: Applications to Aviation, Healthcare, and Aerospace,” on January 13, 2017. Jeremy’s dissertation focused on the study of several problems related to scheduling tasks under uncertainty of processing times or resource availability. In his work, he considered examples from the airline industry (gate assignment optimization and recovery from delay), healthcare (patient appointment scheduling) and aerospace (satellite download scheduling). He developed mathematical approaches to solve exactly or find good approximations to these complicated problems. The work showed that considering uncertainty in when scheduling projects can significantly increase the performance of the created plan by decreasing expected delays, costs and completion time of the project.

Jeremy, who is now working full time at LLamasoft as an applied research scientist in their Ann Arbor office, says his defense was a great experience. “I felt proud to share my work with my committee and many CHEPS students,” he said. He hopes to continue to stay involved in the CHEPS community.

“I entered the PhD program in 2012 and immediately joined CHEPS,” he said. “Over the past four and a half years, I had the chance to work on many projects including aviation, satellites, and chemo. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to interact with so many brilliant people. One of my favorite highlights is my first summer spent at CHEPS. We got so much work done while having a lot of fun!”

Congratulations, Jeremy!

choi January 9, 2017:

Sung Won Choi, M.D., a CHEPS collaborator and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, has been recognized as the first Edith S. Briskin and Shirley K. Schlafer Foundation Research Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Choi, who has been working in the University of Michigan Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases since 2006, was recognized at an event on January 9, 2017. Congratulations, Dr. Choi!

Dr. Choi is studying how to better prevent and treat acute GVHD, and currently is investigating the role of histone deacetylase inhibition in GVHD prevention and translating exciting laboratory insights into a novel, proof-in-principal clinical trial. A member of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) Program at the U-M, she is working to lower rates of GVHD to improve overall patient outcomes. She is also exploring innovative health information tools in the inpatient BMT setting to improve health care safety and outcomes.

choi January 6, 2017:

On Friday, the CHEPS team had their kick off meeting for the Winter 2017 semester. Thanks to a scheduling miracle and over 35 students and staff attended! Students greeted each other after the holiday break, and the ever-expanding group welcomed 8 new CHEPSters. The team discussed policies, procedures, and standard work for the semester and then bonded while scheduling a kick off meeting for every project with Amy Cohn for the following week, a much more challenging task than you’d imagine! With over 25 projects, it’s going to be a busy and exciting semester.

Following a great kickoff for the winter 2017 semester, a group of CHEPSters watched the movie Hidden Figures at Rave Cinemas. The movie reveals the little-known story of three brilliant African-American women mathematicians: Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). While working in the segregated West Area Computers division of Langley Research Center at NASA, the trio was instrumental in the United States catching up to and passing the Soviet Union in the Space Race, culminating in one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The movie inspires individuals of all genders and races to dream big and work hard to achieve their aims. As an advocate for diversity, teamwork, and a big supporter for talented individuals, Professor Amy Cohn encouraged everyone to join her and watch movie following the kickoff event. A group of 15 enjoyed the movie with candies from the kickoff events and, motivated by the movie, are ready to resume the great work they do at CHEPS!

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