Engineering and the Healthcare System

Project Status
November 27, 2018
National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health
Final Report
Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership
Authoring InstitutionNational Academy of Engineering & Institute of Medicine
Publication DateJanuary 01, 2005
The 2005 study documents a wealth of opportunities for using systems engineering and information technology to redesign health care delivery processes to improvethe quality and efficiency of health care
  • This joint study by the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine includes findings and recommendations for building a strong partnership between engineers and health care professionals to address the crises facing health care delivery in the United States.

The report focuses on two major applications of systems-engineering tools: (1) systems design, analysis, and control tools to promote a better understanding of health care processes and interactions and improve system performance within the severe constraints of a crisis situation; and (2) information and communications technologies to facilitate information flow, connectivity at all levels (patients, care teams, health care organizations, and the larger regulatory and financial environment), and coordinated, patient-centered health care. In addition to the committee's consensus report, this volume includes 38 individually authored papers based on presentations given at three fact-finding workshops. The papers address not only operational challenges confronting the U.S. health care delivery system, but also opportunities for improving the use of information technology (e.g., biosensors and wireless communications, and remote monitoring) and systems engineering (e.g., human factors engineering, financial engineering, supply-chain management, and modeling and simulation).