Bridging Engineering and Health Care Delivery


Health care is a system that needs to be administered given the imperative to deliver on the Triple Aim of patient care, population health, and cost of care.

Amy Cohn, PhD is the Associate Director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS) with faculty appointments at the University of Michigan. CHEPS seeks to improve the safety and quality of health care delivery through a multi-disciplinary, systems engineering-based approach.

When the Michigan Health Council visited Amy on a rainy day this spring, CHEPS’ commitment to collaboration, implementation, innovation, education, and dissemination shined.

Now in its third year, CHEPS solves real problems that affect real patients. For example, wait times for chemotherapy patients receiving infusions will be reduced if the CHEPS team finds a way to help providers anticipate patient need. Their goal is to provide drug treatment in a timely manner with minimal waste, instead of having chronically ill individuals sit for hours in waiting rooms. Here is more detail on the project—Scheduling and Patient Flow in an Outpatient Chemotherapy Infusion Center.

CHEPS faculty, staff, and students from engineering, medicine, nursing, public health, and business ultimately want to improve the productivity of health care delivery. Monthly shift schedules for Mott Pediatric Emergency Department, scheduling fellows to achieve adequate training on procedures with random occurrences, and improving patient flow at Mott Children’s Hospital are just a few more examples of how CHEPS applies its interprofessional capacity.

The Michigan Health Council is committed to building a culture of health in Michigan by learning from and leveraging Amy and her team’s great work in Ann Arbor. If you’re working on something worth sharing, let us know!

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