Dynamic Solutions Institute
"We put knowledge to work."

Systems engineering in healthcare

One area in modern societies which is consuming increasing resources is healthcare. There is an explosion of new medical devices, drugs, and procedures, all with a large engineering content. Sadly, however, as we see in the proliferation of advertisements on TV aimed at "victims" of modern medical technology, a lot of modern medicine is causing unnecessary suffering and even death. In the US, Obamacare is boosting the numbers of consumers of medical treatment and putting financial pressures on insurance companies. In Canada, universal medical coverage is causing healthcare costs to spiral upward. (In Ontario, healthcare now consumes 45 % of the total provincial budget!) Increasing the safety, effectiveness, and reducing the costs of delivering healthcare has never been more important. Read this New York Times article on the urgent shift from volume of services provided to quality of outcome.

System safety engineering (SSE) is a relatively new discipline which recognizes that systems (including those delivering modern medicine) have become too complex for old ways of controlling safety and functionality. Formal systems engineering techniques, not just the old "fly-fix-fly" approach to defects, now are required. Healthcare dollars should be spent on patients, not lawyers. Furthermore, governments increasingly are being compelled to intervene, creating tougher legislated requirements and issuing major directives and levying large fines.

DSI is ready to help your medical enterprise move into the modern era of SSE product and service delivery, with training, consulting, and assisting with the development of safety cases.