Healthcare Systems Engineering - Context, Contents, and Implementation

  • Wu, Bin B. (PI)
  • Pasupathy, Kalyan S (CoPI)
  • Jang, Wooseung W. (CoPI)
  • Savage, Grant G.T. (CoPI)
  • Hicks, Lanis L. (CoPI)
  • Klein, Cerry C.M. (CoPI)
  • Stone, Tamara T.T. (CoPI)
  • Crowe, Thomas T.J. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details



Engineering - Other (59)

This project is developing and piloting a healthcare systems engineering (HSE) minor for engineering undergraduate students at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The coursework focuses on the analysis, design and continuous improvement of healthcare services and systems. This is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort including industrial engineering in the college of engineering, health management and informatics in the school of medicine, the university hospitals and clinics and the college of education.

The PIs are utilizing a systems approach to teach students to address problematic situations in healthcare improvement. Graduates of this program have a thorough understanding of the design and operation of healthcare systems and can incorporate all of the necessary elements into a system that is effective in terms of service, quality, patient safety and system costs. Four courses are being developed along with a capstone design course. The capstone course allows student teams to work with sponsoring hospitals or health-care providers to solve real life problems related to healthcare improvement. The additional courses are (1) Systems Perspective of Modern Healthcare, (2) Introduction to Healthcare Structure, Technologies and Operations, (3) Methodologies and Tools of System Engineering, and (4) Healthcare Systems Design and Analysis.

This project is teaching students to approach a problematic situation in healthcare improvement through a systems perspective. Unlike a functional approach, this is encouraging students to consider healthcare activities in their entirety, utilizing systems concepts such as objectives, relationships and transformation. The project is being evaluated to determine progress toward goals and overall project success utilizing questionnaires, interviews of participants, evaluator site visits, and classroom observation. Project related information and findings are available to both academic and professional communities via a project website.

Effective start/end date3/1/062/28/09


  • National Science Foundation: $129,456.00


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