Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement through Systems Engineering [Report to the President] – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology – May 2014
“Dear Mr. President,
We are pleased to send you this report by your Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement through Systems Engineering. This report comes at a critical time for the United States. Health-care costs now approach a fifth of the U.S. economy, yet a significant portion of those costs is reportedly “unnecessary” and does not lead to better health or quality of care. Millions more Americans now have health insurance and therefore access to the health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With expanded access placing greater demands on the health-care system, strategic measures must be taken not only to increase efficiency, but also to improve the quality and affordability of care.
This report, which was informed by the deliberations of a working group comprised of PCAST members and prominent health-care and systems-engineering experts, identifies a comprehensive set of actions for enhancing health care across the Nation through greater use of systems-engineering principles. Systems engineering, widely used in manufacturing and aviation, is an interdisciplinary approach to analyze, design, manage, and measure a complex system in order to improve its efficiency, reliability, productivity, quality, and safety. It has often produced dramatically positive results in the small number of health-care organizations that have incorporated it into their processes. But in spite of excellent examples, systems methods and tools are not yet used on a widespread basis in U.S. health care.”
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