Improving the Healing Environment in University of Michigan Hospital through Noise Reduction and Masking Techniques: A team of University of Michigan students, Matt DiTullio (Senior IOE), Tori Ranger (Senior IOE), and Keegan Cisowski (Senior ChemE), began working on this project in January of 2012. The project is part of the Multidisciplinary Design Program within the College of Engineering, but crosses into other units such as the School of Medicine and the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. Supervisors include Professor Harvey Bell (MDP), Professor Amy Cohn, Ph.D. (IOE, Public Health), Professor Jim Bagian, MD (IOE, Medicine), and Chris Schlaps (Medicine). The project focuses on improving patient perception of noise through reduction and masking. An improved perception of noise would lead to improved rest which in turn would lead to faster healing. Faster healing leads to savings on behalf of both patients and the hospital. Furthermore, improved perception of noise would lead to increased HCAHPS survey scores and save the hospital a significant amount of money. Reduction and masking techniques were designed through data collected from patient interviews and collaborative discussions between multiple departments. Interviews and reduction/masking are still ongoing in this multi-semester project.

Measuring & Assessing Patient Safety (MAPS): Patient safety covers many disciplines and complex processes, with the breadth of the program making it difficult for any single individual to be an expert in all areas.  To address this CHEPS has developed the MAPS survey tool.  MAPS serves as a cognitive aid, reference document, and survey instrument for patient safety programs.  Questions in the tool focus attention on both the physical elements of the environment of care that pertain to patient safety as well as equipment and processes used to provide this care.  Questions, rationale statements, surveying tips, and references are provided.  Each question may be assessed and scored as “met”, “partially met”, or “not met”, with action plans identified for questions scored as “partially” or “not met”.

UV Light Disinfection: Even with current terminal patient room cleaning and disinfection practices pathogens such as Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) may remain on room surfaces subjecting future patients to infections, increased length of hospital stay, or even death.  Ultraviolet light has been used for decades as a disinfection agent but only recently has the technology become available to treat the entire patient room.  CHEPS identified viable portable UV light systems and is working with UMHS infection control professionals to integrate this technology into UMHS cleaning and disinfecting processes.

GE Aisys Anesthesia Machines: Cardiac catheterization procedure rooms have low ambient light levels to permit real time fluoroscopy images to be seen in high detail by surgeons.  Anesthesia providers must administer medications during these procedures necessitating that medication vials and syringes be read correctly to prevent adverse drug events.  As part of a root cause analysis investigation CHEPS evaluated available light levels, researched standards for required light levels and investigated what these light levels were based on.  A solution that minimized the impact of night blindness on the anesthesia staff was identified and recommended.

HGRC: The Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities was established in 1947 to aid in the design and construction of health care facilities.  The document is currently being revised every 4 years by a multidisciplinary group comprised of federal, state and private sector experts knowledgeable in the design, operation and construction of health care facilities.  CHEPS is represented on the 2014 revisions committee and is actively participating in improving this Guide which is adopted and enforced in whole or part, by many States and national accreditation organizations.


Residency Scheduling in Pediatric Emergency Medicine: A team led by Professor Amy Cohn, Industrial and Operations Engineering, and Dr. Brian Jordan, a Chief Resident in Pediatrics at the Medical School, have developed a tool to automate the process of scheduling residents during the Pediatric Emergency Medicine rotations.