A special issue of International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise
The healthcare industry has a significant influence on industrial nations’ global competitiveness and their economical growth. Currently, the United State’s cost of healthcare is estimated to be 15% of the GDP and will be more than 20% by 2015. As the result of the high cost of healthcare delivery, the quality of service has begun to suffer and impacted those requiring it. It has also put a significant strain on the resources available to the healthcare providers. The increasing cost of healthcare while maintaining high quality of delivery have forced many nations to consider the need to address this national issue and consider the application of a systematic approach to address this problem.
In a 2007 Mechanical Engineering magazine featured an article entitled “Re-engineering Healthcare”, A. Noor argues that engineers today are well equipped to meet the challenges of designing, implementing and operating the today’s healthcare systems. In a 2001 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), six major goals for implementation of the 21st century healthcare system were identified. These include 1) safety, 2) effectiveness, 3) patient-centered, 4) timely, 5) efficient, and 6) even-handed. Each of these characteristics is similar to those required for designing any complex system. This process presents many challenges due to changing organisations, technology, and policies. In another study, the IOM concluded that the existing proven engineering applications are not widely used in solving problems associated with the design and development of healthcare systems. A systematic way of improving healthcare systems, application of the state-of-the-art medical and information technologies, and reengineeringthe process of delivery and organisational operations are the scope of what is called as “healthcare systems engineering”.
The goal of this special issue is to address this subject and its impact on global demand of affordable and quality healthcare in the 21st century. The objective is to publish the latest articles on a variety of topics related to this subject with the emphasis on the application of systems engineering to address the six major goals set by the IOM.
- Modern healthcare systems
- Systems engineering application in healthcare design and development
- Theories and method for modelling modern healthcare systems
- Intelligent decision support systems
- Safety, quality, cost and risk management
- Healthcare technology management
- Information systems and healthcare informatics
- Mathematical and statistical tools for modelling and analysis
- Medical device design
- Healthcare process mapping and re-engineering
- Material and supply chain management
- Lean management and waste reduction in healthcare systems
- Case studies and other related issues
Full article submission: 15 September, 2009
Review results back to the authors: 15 November, 2009
Revised article based on reviews: 15 December, 2009
Final copy of accepted articles: 15 January, 2010