Systems engineering can benefit healthcare


A “systems engineering” approach should be implemented to achieve lower cost and higher quality in healthcare, according to a new report from The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach widely used in manufacturing and aviation, but only in a limited way in healthcare due to a number of barriers, including the fee-for-service payment system. 

The report, Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement Through Systems Engineering, proposes a strategy to overcome these barriers so that the full potential of systems engineering to improve healthcare can be achieved.

“The ability to look at high quality data, measurement and analytics in real time is key to systems engineering in any sector of the economy but particularly in healthcare,” said Christine Cassel, managing director, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum and co-chair of the PCAST Systems Engineering in Health Care Working Group, which authored the report. 

“To improve healthcare, good, relevant, standardized, and patient-centered measures and data must be more readily available in order for patients and providers to make more informed decisions and to drive improvements in care.”


PCAST, US, Christine Cassel