Institute for Healthcare Optimization

Institute for Healthcare Optimization

 

Hospitals’ inability to manage variability in patient demand for services exacts an enormous price on our health care system, a toll manifested in poor quality and access to care and high costs. Lack of timely access to emergency care, boarding of patients in hallways, patients placed on the wrong services, stress on nurses caused by peaks in census, waste from idle resources and un-served demand can all be traced back to poor scheduling practices and the failure to apply management science to the delivery system to assure optimal use of resources.

The Institute grew out of the work of Boston University’s Program for Management of Variability in Health Care Delivery (MVP). The MVP has worked successfully with a number of individual hospitals in improving both the quality and cost of care by applying Operations Management tools and Variability Methodology to manage patient demand. These proven applications of management science to hospital care delivery simultaneously improved quality of care while increasing revenue (or reducing cost), belying the notion that improving cost and quality of health care has to involve trade-offs.

The mission of the Institute is to serve as a catalyst and to provide a vehicle for spreading these improvements across the broader hospital community and other parts of the health care delivery system. Doing so would have a significant positive impact nationally on the compelling issues of access, quality and cost of care. An incremental hospital-by-hospital approach cannot achieve the Institute’s ambitious goal of making a near term and significant contribution to solving these national problems. A multifaceted approach that quickly builds a foundation for wide scale (and expert) application of these methodologies to individual hospitals is what’s called for.

The Institute’s activities will reflect this multipronged approach and will focus on developing tools and guidance that hospitals can use directly to implement improvements, educating and training health care personnel on theory and application of these methodologies, disseminating knowledge on successful application efforts and targeting demonstration projects with individual hospitals and health care systems whose leadership role and reputation would encourage adoption by the industry. The research collaborations with hospitals and health care systems will provide the “laboratory setting” needed to advance our understanding of the appropriate application of OM principles and practices in hospital care delivery. A longer term goal of the Institute is to apply these methodologies in other health care delivery settings, such as non-acute care hospitals, clinics, primary and specialty-care practices and emergency medical services, all of which have similar challenges of managing patient demand for services.

Institute for Healthcare Optimization

 

Hospitals’ inability to manage variability in patient demand for services exacts an enormous price on our health care system, a toll manifested in poor quality and access to care and high costs. Lack of timely access to emergency care, boarding of patients in hallways, patients placed on the wrong services, stress on nurses caused by peaks in census, waste from idle resources and un-served demand can all be traced back to poor scheduling practices and the failure to apply management science to the delivery system to assure optimal use of resources.

The Institute grew out of the work of Boston University’s Program for Management of Variability in Health Care Delivery (MVP). The MVP has worked successfully with a number of individual hospitals in improving both the quality and cost of care by applying Operations Management tools and Variability Methodology to manage patient demand. These proven applications of management science to hospital care delivery simultaneously improved quality of care while increasing revenue (or reducing cost), belying the notion that improving cost and quality of health care has to involve trade-offs.

The mission of the Institute is to serve as a catalyst and to provide a vehicle for spreading these improvements across the broader hospital community and other parts of the health care delivery system. Doing so would have a significant positive impact nationally on the compelling issues of access, quality and cost of care. An incremental hospital-by-hospital approach cannot achieve the Institute’s ambitious goal of making a near term and significant contribution to solving these national problems. A multifaceted approach that quickly builds a foundation for wide scale (and expert) application of these methodologies to individual hospitals is what’s called for.

The Institute’s activities will reflect this multipronged approach and will focus on developing tools and guidance that hospitals can use directly to implement improvements, educating and training health care personnel on theory and application of these methodologies, disseminating knowledge on successful application efforts and targeting demonstration projects with individual hospitals and health care systems whose leadership role and reputation would encourage adoption by the industry. The research collaborations with hospitals and health care systems will provide the “laboratory setting” needed to advance our understanding of the appropriate application of OM principles and practices in hospital care delivery. A longer term goal of the Institute is to apply these methodologies in other health care delivery settings, such as non-acute care hospitals, clinics, primary and specialty-care practices and emergency medical services, all of which have similar challenges of managing patient demand for services.