Health care delivery workshop brings together industry, academics

April 12, 2010

The second annual Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems (CIHDS) invited workshop was held March 29 at the Penn State Nittany Lion Inn. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for more than 130 participants to identify challenges within the current health care system while addressing new avenues for improvement.

Industry participants represented more than a dozen companies and organizations including Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Delta Health Technologies and Wellspan Health System. University participants came from the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Health and Human Development and Information Sciences and Technology; Eberly College of Science; and the School of Nursing.

"The kind of innovation we need in our health care system will require a wide range of disciplines working together, guided by the goals of a better experience for patients, better health outcomes, and far more efficient use of resources," noted Alan Snyder, associate dean of technology development at the Penn State Miltom S Hershey College of Medicine. "The workshop demonstrated that we have exactly the right talents at Penn State. We also have a rich tradition of shaping large research programs to be directly relevant to real-world practice."

The workshop featured a keynote address by Sam Brandt, vice president and chief medical informatics officer for Siemens Medical Solutions, which addressed how important changes need to be made to health care delivery systems. Siemens became a cornerstone partner of CIHDS last year with financial support that included sponsorship of the workshop.

Lockheed Martin used the workshop as an opportunity to announce its intention to support CIHDS through membership in a planned industry/university collaborative research center program.

The workshop also included panel discussions and breakout sessions about relevant health care delivery themes and areas of improvement within the industry.

Chris Calkins, director of Outreach Health Initiatives, was enthusiastic about participating in the workshop.

"Few enterprises are as complex or as potentially impactful as the health care delivery system. The Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems workshop inspired several interdisciplinary conversations on the challenges confronting the U.S. health care system and the many ways in which Penn State can work with industry partners to address critical issues in organizational design and the process of care to promote human health," he said.

Harriet Black Nembhard, CIHDS director and associate professor of industrial engineering, believes the workshop is a vital part of the center's growth.

"This was a unique opportunity for us to discuss key focus areas with our corporate and community partners while showcasing the current projects we are working on," Nembhard said. "We were delighted to be able to include ten graduate student scholars in this workshop and poster session. We are looking forward to working on the very ambitious agenda that emerged from the breakout sessions."

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Last Updated November 23, 2010