Why Healthcare Systems Engineering?

 Professor stands in front of classroom full of students

Why Healthcare Systems Engineering?

In 2014, The White House President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued the so-called PCAST report recommending using Systems Engineering for the highly complex challenges in modern healthcare, stating: “…Systems Engineering know-how must be propagated at all levels [of healthcare]” and “Implementation of [systems engineering] bears potential not only to improve the efficiency of [health] care delivery, but also to improve its quality.” A similar recommendation was published more recently in the Harvard Business Review.

A Kaiser Permanente executive stated:

“Although health care can do some amazing things, anyone working in
health care has also seen examples of suboptimal patient outcomes,
unaddressed patient safety issues, poor reliability, and inefficiencies.
Traditional medical thinking is not well equipped to improve many of these
problems. Much of this, however, can be addressed if systems engineers,
physicians, and health care professionals could better collaborate and use
well-known systems engineering techniques... This really should create the
burning platform for greater incorporation of systems engineering into
medical care.”

Michael Kanter, M.D., CPPS, Professor and Chair of Clinical Science;
Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine

The LMU Healthcare Systems Engineering M.S. degree program offers the highest quality unique education addressing this urgent national need.

Systems Engineering is a body of knowledge that originated in the aerospace industry to assure the perfect performance of complex multi-disciplinary systems. Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) is a mostly non-mathematical body of knowledge, although some areas use statistics, modeling and simulations, and informatics. HSE helps solve healthcare problems in a broad range of areas, including:

  • Patient Safety Systems
  • Powerful Lean Streamlining and modeling of operations in emergency
    departments, operating rooms, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, supply chain,
    and administration—reducing waste, cutting costs, giving providers more
    time for patients, and improving quality and the work environment 
  • Integrating fragmented healthcare elements into safe and redundant
    patient-focused systems with well-manufactured interfaces
  • Managing population health, telemedicine, and home care
  • Equity, diversity, and ethical considerations in healthcare
  • Reducing errors and accidents in increasingly complex clinical
  • Improving the use and interconnectivity of medical devices
  • Electronic records and healthcare enterprise informatics
  • Simulations and modeling of operations and economic analysis
  • Medical research from big data