Systems Reengineering To Improve Care

Mike Millard | Healthcare IT News | May 30, 2014

PCAST report calls for fundamental rethinking of data practices

A strategy most often applied to industries such as manufacturing and aviation might unlock the potential for better care at lower cost, according to a new report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Systems engineering, common in other sectors of the economy, is an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing, designing and managing complex systems, with the aim of improving their efficiency, reliability and productivity.

For example, the PCAST report, "Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering," points out that, "by using tools such as alerts, redundancies, checklists, and systems that adjust for the human factor, U.S. commercial airlines have reduced fatalities from hundreds in the 1960s to approaching zero now, with the risk of dying now at 1 in 45 million flights. They have also been used in fields as diverse as manufacturing, space stations and satellites, and education."

The study makes the case that similiar improvement strategies – so far only applied in a limited way in healthcare thanks largely the the strictures of the existing fee-for-service model – will be key to smarter use of data for better care delivery...