Division of Healthcare Engineering
We are empowering hearts and minds to be better tomorrow than today.
We do this by developing, implementing, researching, and supporting a culture and infrastructure for continuous improvement and patient safety.
What We Do:
Eliminating barriers and identifying value to individuals while eliminating waste. Concepts we use include: simple flows, transparency, standard work, tight connections, and visual management.
High-reliability industries like banking, aviation and nuclear power have developed event learning systems that enabled them to continually and sustainably learn from the events reported.
Outpatient Services Goals
Developing and aligning outpatient services strategies and objectives. Providing coaching support to all UNC Medical Center outpatient clinics.
A3 problem solving
The A3 is a visual manifestation of a structured problem and continuous improvement approach. The name A3 refers to a single sheet of ISO A3 sized paper which is typically used in such a project.
Transformation of Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare providers’ engagement with patient safety and continuous improvement efforts: Over the last decade, our work has led to the development of a theoretical model of individual transformation to Lean Thinking (or in other words, the individual engaging in proactive and prospective (vs. reactive and retrospective) error reporting and problem solving). At this individual-level of analysis, we focused on understanding the driving and restraining forces needed to stimulate and sustain the effective improvement behaviors by healthcare professionals. Our work in this area focuses on implementation and assessment of improvement programs aimed at increasing Lean thinking by individuals in healthcare organizations; thus, improving healthcare delivery quality and patient safety. We believe that this research area/direction is well aligned with the strategic vision and goals of the UNC Health Care System.
Human Factors Engineering
Providers’ interactions with health IT: Care delivery is done in complex and stressful environments. Workers often need to perform multiple tasks concurrently while being subjected to many hand-offs and cross-coverage situations. To better understand such circumstances, we have created a human-factors laboratory where we have been successfully investigating measures of task demands, task difficulty, workload, and performance during providers’ interactions with health IT.
Quality and Patient Safety
Broadly speaking, quality and patient safety is an area of research that examines system and process design with overarching goals to reduce errors, increase efficiency, increase patients/providers’ satisfaction, and improve access and overall quality of healthcare. We are most interested in translating quality assurance/control/improvement principles and methodologies from high reliability organizations (e.g. aviation, car manufacturing [Toyota/Lean], nuclear power, gas and oil) to improve healthcare quality and patient safety. See Dr. Lukasz Mazur’s page at the UNC School of Information and Library Science.