AAMI Publication Touts Systems Thinking in Healthcare Technology

The fall 2014 edition of Horizons, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)’s award-winning supplement, serves as a rallying cry for adopting systems thinking in healthcare technology. Connecting the Dots: The Value of Systems Engineering in Healthcare Technology represents AAMI’s latest effort to use the popular Horizons series to provide a comprehensive and practical look at a major challenge or trend. AAMI  is a nonprofit organization that supports the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective medical technology.

Although last spring’s President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report noted that the existing healthcare system was not designed but instead emerged out of separate uncoordinated efforts, systems thinking challenges healthcare to reprioritize incentives to deliver desired performance, most notably improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.

The issue’s centerpiece is an article covering a roundtable discussion in which experts share their views on how systems thinking can spur a transformation in healthcare, resulting in better outcomes on multiple fronts. “It’s almost a cultural challenge to start weaning ourselves from a ‘more is better’ philosophy,” according to roundtable participant Lane Desborough, chief engineer, insulin delivery/closed loop at Medtronic Diabetes in Northridge, Calif. The panelists address how greater safety, efficiency, and reliability in healthcare will emerge by embracing simplicity, identifying systems thinkers, and promulgating an increased awareness of the interconnected relationship of medical devices, technology, and individuals.

Through expert commentary and practical case examples, other articles in this issue of Horizons give readers insight into the power of systems thinking.
•Get inside the minds of systems engineering managers to find out how modern healthcare delivery workflows can be optimized to capitalize on the strengths of specialists and other stakeholders.
•Find out how guidelines (e.g., SO/IEEE 11073-20101:2004(E), ANSI/AAMI/IEC 80001-1:2010, HL7) can be leveraged to bridge the gap between two disparate and complex cultures: healthcare information technology and medical device development.
•Learn five ways healthcare organizations can incorporate systems thinking into their operations, including using a proactive approach to identify potential risks in order to build resiliency into systems.
•Read how a community of hospitals shared infusion pump alert data, drug libraries, and domain knowledge to enable interhospital comparative analyses and exchange of expertise.
•Experience a harrowing adventure in the operating room and learn how the introduction of a flexible framework with automation for executing system-level policy models can reduce the risk of human error.
•Delve deeper into the PCAST report and learn what its recommendations mean for device manufacturers.

Published earlier this month, this edition of Horizons is being distributed to more than 8,000 medical technology professionals, including all AAMI members and those who attend biomedical association meetings and industry events this fall. The publication also will be available at AAMI's Annual Conference & Expo in Denver, June 5-8, 2015.

Source: Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)