CHEPS Pulse: Conference Connections, March 2020

In This Issue

To all of you in our extended CHEPS community, we hope you are safe, healthy, and finding your balance in these uncertain times. Please send us updates with any good news you have to share, we all can use a little these days!

We know the COVID-19 situation makes it hard to keep up with all the changes. The University of Michigan’s COVID-19 page provides valuable and timely information. The College of Engineering has also created a one-stop page for University of Michigan Engineering faculty, students and staff.

Conference Connections

When we emphasize teamwork here at CHEPS, it’s not just about our local teams working day to day on CHEPS projects. It’s also vital that we connect and share with the larger community doing healthcare engineering work. The annual Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference gives us a chance to share our work and learn what other researchers are doing. In February, CHEPSters traveled to Savannah, Georgia to participate in the 2020 conference.

hspi group
Billy Pozehl, Malcolm Hudson, Rachel Moeckel (alum), Luke Liu, Matt Levenson, Amy Cohn, and Jake Martin at the HSPI Conference

The CHEPS presentations were:

The CHEPS posters were:

Malcolm Hudson at his poster

First-time conference presenter Malcolm Hudson, an Industrial and Operations Engineering (IOE) masters student, shared a poster highlighting his work with the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. His team is working to better understand how operating rooms are scheduled and used in the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System in order to make recommendations to improve utilization, reduce variation in metrics, and increase throughput. Malcolm found the poster session a valuable opportunity to connect with others doing similar work. He said, “One of the individuals I met was a Process Improvement Project Manager with very similar experiences on operating room usage at a different VA Healthcare System, who was able to give some anecdotes and advice on work he had done that very closely aligned to the VA Surgery Project at CHEPS.”

Jake Martin presenting his work

Jake Martin, an IOE undergraduate student, presented on his team’s work to simulate the schedule creation and daily operations of an outpatient endoscopy clinic. Their simulation allows new policies to be tested robustly at a low cost. In addition to doing his presentation, Jake appreciated the opportunity to view presentations from others doing similar work. He said, “ I was able to see how other people had been using simulation in healthcare and what things they had been doing that I may want to incorporate in my own work. One specific presentation that I thought was very useful was a presentation on generic discrete model simulations in healthcare by ORCHID Analytics. This presentation showed how generic simulations could be made and used by any clinic that needed it. Creating a generic model was something I was trying to do with my work so I found this presentation to be very helpful.”

Matt Levenson at his poster

Matt Levenson, an IOE undergraduate, found the networking opportunities at the conference particularly helpful. He said, “The best part about the conference was being able to have the opportunity to speak with other industry professionals and learn best practices from their respective projects.” Matt presented a poster on his team’s work studying and modeling the impact that opening new eye care clinics in the Georgia Veterans Affairs system has on access to care.

It was a busy conference but, luckily, the CHEPS crew happened to be visiting Savannah at a time when Girl Scout Cookie sales were booming in the area. CHEPS Associate Director Amy Cohn is a known Girl Scout Cookie connoisseur and the group had plenty of Thin Mints, Tagalongs, and more to fuel all of this academic innovation! They also had a chance to get out and explore Savannah some, enjoying the warm weather while their friends in Michigan were experiencing a snowstorm. “I got to spend time with my coworkers in Savannah which was one of the best parts of the trip,” said Jake.

Luke Liu presenting his work

Even at the Savannah airport on their way back to Michigan, the positive conference experience continued. “The cherry on top for me was at the airport. There was a woman that came up to me as I was waiting for my flight and told me that she was at my talk and said it was very well done. I was so shocked that someone would take time out of their day to do that!” said IOE undergraduate Luke Liu who presented his team’s work on a simulation tool which helps policymakers to better understand how uncertainty impacts ICU utilization. He continued saying, “Overall, I loved the conference experience and would highly recommend it to anyone!”

Recent News

Where in the World is CHEPS?

We admit this is an easy one. The HSPI attendees are pictured in front of the Georgia Queen riverboat in Savannah.

See more “Where in the World is CHEPS?” at our website.

Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety | University of Michigan
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