Clinical microsystems: An industrial engineering perspective

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Richard Brandon
Regional Director-Client Services
Premier, Inc.

LeighAnn Myers, RN
National Sales Director
Premier, Inc.

To improve a patient's health status you assess, diagnose, treat, and follow-up based on biomedical and care science. To improve a clinical microsystem's "health status" you assess, diagnose, treat, and follow-up based on improvement science and the science of clinical practice. The clinical microsystem's concept is a key portal for industrial engineering involvement in data analysis and interdepartmental process improvement to effect clinical change.

Clinical micorsystems are described at as the frontline units that provide most health care to most people. They are the places where patients, families, and care teams meet. Microsystems also include support staff, processes, technology, and recurring patterns of information, behavior, and results. Central to every clinical microsystem is the patient.

A clinical microsystem may be the ED, a med/surg unit, or a cath lab. The basic structure of clinical microsystems is flexible to allow analysis, evaluation, and improvement in any of these areas. A key aspect of the improvement of microsystems is the analysis of data, trending, process flow, and multi-departmental process improvement; all key strengths of industrial engineering and related management science professionals. This session will provide an overview of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock clinical microsystem concept, bring an awareness to the structure and materials used to improve a clinical area, and key in on specific segments that can be significantly enhanced with the use of industrial engineering and management science.