U-M IOE graduate student Cynthia Joy reflects on HSPI 2024

My name is Cynthia Joy, and I am currently pursuing my master’s in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. After finishing undergrad, I felt a pang of regret for not having written a paper or attended a conference. But thanks to the Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety (CHEPS), I finally got to tick those boxes off my student bucket list!

The Healthcare Systems Process Improvement (HSPI) conference in Atlanta, Georgia was an absolute blast. Arman Getzen, my teammate, and I presented our projects on PATH (Prenatal Plan for Appropriate Tailored Healthcare) and successfully addressed issues with CNT (Central Nurse Triage) FYI notifications. It’s amazing how our summer work at CHEPS quickly turned into multiple paper submissions and a conference.

From left: Maddy Heyer (CSE undergraduate), Billy Pozehl (CHEPS Research Manager), Mengting Tu (CSE undergraduate), Cynthia Joy (IOE master’s), and Arman Getzen (BME undergraduate) heading to HSPI 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Presenting alongside Arman was a joy; we thoroughly enjoyed answering questions at the end of the presentation and hearing about how others tackle similar challenges. Some individuals were also genuinely curious to learn more about CHEPS. And let’s not forget the food—it was top-notch. We even squeezed in some lunchtime quizzes and a chat from Chick-fil-A’s head about boosting customer experience.

The conference itself was a whirlwind of fun. Mornings kicked off with optional activities like Pilates or yoga (though I may have hit snooze a few times). Afterward, we absorbed insights from presentations by Mengting and Maddy, our fellow CHEPsters, as well as other speakers. For me, some super interesting topics were AI in healthcare and discussions on the balanced scorecard, which I’m currently learning about in school. We also had the opportunity to attend workshops. One workshop that stood out for me was about keeping people engaged in virtual versus in-person settings—super relevant, especially in today’s world. Bonus: I was the lone student in attendance and scored a fidget spinner to take home.

The venue was gorgeous, too—hello, sunny weather and scenic trails! It was a sweet escape from chilly Michigan. And can we talk about the networking? It was incredible to connect with fellow industrial engineering enthusiasts and see the boundless potential for IOE in healthcare.

This conference fueled my passion for my field and left me stoked to keep exploring the endless opportunities in healthcare. Also, a tip for future CHEPsters: make sure to learn some presentation tips from Communications Specialist Hannah Buck at least once before you leave CHEPS. She’s amazing—not only did her tips help with the conference, but also with job interviews, and she’s so much fun to work with.

— Written by Cynthia Joy, CHEPS Student