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Aim and Vision

Triple Aim Impact

The United States will not achieve high-value health care unless improvement initiatives pursue a broader system of linked goals: improving the individual experience of care; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita costs of care for populations…only when the population is specified does it become, in principle, possible to know about its experiences of care, its health status, and the per capita costs of caring for it.
-Don Berwick, Thomas W. Nolan, and John Whittington “The Triple Aim: Care, Health, and Cost,” 2008.


The objective of our CMS grant-funded project is to create and demonstrate the value of healthcare systems engineering regional extension centers that produce measurable improvements across the three dimensions of better care, better health, and lower costs. This goal reflects a growing effort among physicians, healthcare professionals, and engineers to balance the pursuit of these aims in order to maintain long term improvement in the U.S. health care system. CMS emphasizes that our projects have a high cost impact, with the opportunity to replicate these projects on a national scale.

This is accomplished by:

  1. Applying industrial and systems engineering (ISyE) methods to key problems identified on an ongoing basis within health systems (a mix of acute care/academic hospitals, safety net community hospitals, and outpatient group practices) in the greater Boston area, Seattle, WA, Charlotte, NC, among other cities in the near future.

  2. Identifying and conducting 2-4 high-impact ISyE improvement projects at each site. Many of our successful projects focus on a defined patient population and a significant cost impact.

  3. Embedding Northeastern systems engineering resources within existing internal project teams at each system.

  4. Developing a workforce of knowledgeable individuals who are skilled in applying systems engineering to health care.

  5. Developing increased awareness and demand for the value of this work among healthcare practitioners and leaders in specific targeted regions and nationally via published articles, presentations at national industry conferences, and key partner relationships.

  6. Creating a scalable and sustainable model for applying ISyE in health care that has clear continuing value to the needs of all participants (health systems, academics, payers).

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