The crucial role of systems engineering in the biotech and healthcare industry
In the 21 century, technology has revolutionized every aspect of our society, including many of our industries. As a result, technical breakthroughs that allowed medical institutions in the United States to continue operating during a pandemic have impacted healthcare.
We have telehealth, nanorobots, and digital medical records as some well-known examples of tech-savvy medical science. If used correctly, technology (artificial intelligence) can reduce healthcare expenditures while making facilities accessible to everyone in the country.
So we need experts who are well-versed in the health sector and the digital field. These in-demand professionals are called healthcare systems engineers (HCSEs).
The importance of HCSEs in today’s health sector
So, what do these HCSEs do, and how do they help improve the institution of healthcare? First, we need to understand what a systems engineer’s duties are and what sort of responsibilities they handle.
These experts deal with a project from beginning to completion by creating a foolproof system. Their duties include operating equipment, installing software applications, and other relevant challenges. With a proper degree, knowledge of cloud computing, and a little virtualization experience, you can become a healthcare systems engineer.
So as a rough overview, healthcare systems engineers create health-related systems for accomplishing medical objectives. So, why do we need systems engineers in the health sector at all?
American hospitals’ technology consumption has increased dramatically in recent years. A survey conducted last year shows that 96% of hospitals in the USA used electronic health record (EHR) technology. Healthcare systems are getting more complicated, and as result, organizations require some professional assistance to deliver caregiving facilities effectively to patients.
To achieve this, they will often hire a student who has earned a healthcare engineering degree from a reputable institution. This degree teaches you how to redesign these medical systems and contribute to positive changes in the health sector.
Why are HCSEs essential for the future of healthcare?
So what kind of services can you perform for your employers with this degree? Let’s learn more about why HCSEs are essential for the future of healthcare.
They provide technical expertise
So, what are the immediate benefits of earning a degree in healthcare systems engineering? It can help you evaluate large-scale systems while assessing threats to public health caused by challenges in the health sector.
A degree in HCSE also enables you to create a system for managing quality and analyzing how different effective procedures are in the healthcare industry. This knowledge makes you imperative for this industry – especially during the post-pandemic formative period in the USA.
They increase patient safety
Experts have suggested that implementing healthcare systems engineering can improve the safety of patients, thereby decreasing hospital mortalities. It improves the efficiency of nurses and doctors, thereby reducing medication mistakes.
This is why institutions such as Mayo Clinic have now supported incorporating systems engineering into the health sector. A report by Health Affairs has revealed how HCSE has influenced the healthcare industry. Let’s summarize the results of their endeavors:
- 30% fewer medication room visits
- 39% fewer surgical patient complications
- 47% fewer mortalities inside clinics/hospitals
- 59% fewer demands for missed medicines by patients
They improve efficiency cost-effectively
How do health workers make their facilities more effective? Experts have suggested that eliminating disruptions may lead to fewer disruptions, thereby higher efficacy. That’s how you can run the clinic cost-effectively.
In some facilities, they’ve leveraged systems engineering to manage patients’ beds faster. It has reduced the waiting period by discharging people and getting patients into beds faster for increased productivity. That’s how HCSEs can make the healthcare industry more profitable.
They reduce nurses’ burnout
Burnout among RNs was already a rising issue before COVID. Statistics show that over 31% of nurses left due to burnout in 2018. Burnout emerges from stress/anxiety that may increase when RNs fail to efficiently leverage technology for their benefit.
For example, different monitors sounding alarms simultaneously and competing for the workforce’s attention may distract health workers. This can mean that they may miss critical alarms. It sometimes makes them spend their time searching for information instead of caring for patients. Systems engineers can reorganize systems to make data easily accessible to nurses and doctors. That’s how it leads to more productivity and reduced burnout.
It reduces caregivers’ shortages
According to recent reports, AAMC fears a shortfall of at least 30,000+ physicians by 2034. They’ve described retiring boomers as one of the leading causes behind the expected deficiency of health workers in the future.
Systems engineers are tasked with providing the right health worker at the right place at the right time. They’re also considering a methodology to bring in professionals not accepted traditionally as doctors. These “providers” can increase the system’s capacity even if the number of doctor’s declining rapidly. Also, by reducing unnecessary procedures, HCSEs can cut waste and make the health sector more capable. These methods help with caregivers’ shortages.
It boosts data coordination
One example of systems engineering bolstering the health sector’s efficiency involves the famous Project Emerge at John Hopkins. It received information from various sources, centralized them onto a single, easy-to-read monitor, and enabled clinicians to study it carefully.
Health workers can monitor a patient’s vitals while learning about their medical history. In the ICU – especially – health workers consider over 200 steps for every patient to prevent problems such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. But this application permits clinicians to review patient-related information properly at a single location. That’s how patients may receive a doctor’s undivided attention in a literal sense.
It bolsters disease prevention
Statistics regarding people’s health in the USA are devastating! The CDC estimates that some 45% of Americans suffer from at least one chronic ailment. It means almost 133 million people are at risk today. That’s why health workers are charged with preventing diseases before they become too expensive to treat.
But it isn’t easy to convince people to lead healthier lifestyles. However, we may have found a solution in the form of wearables that empower patients to become more vigilant. The data collected from wearable devices can help doctors to track behaviors that are harmful to their patients. They can interpret this data correctly with the help of healthcare systems engineers too!
HCSEs are important for medical science
People’s dependence upon telehealth facilities increased during the pandemic. The CDC observed that telehealth visits increased by 50% during the first quarter of 2020. While it does make the health sector more effective, people have found medical services a little complex too.
And one solution to resolve this complexity involves incorporating systems engineering with the health sector. It has become a flourishing concept among experts who consider HCSEs important for medical science.
So, how do systems engineers make healthcare a more productive industry? They can create new devices and redesign healthcare procedures from scratch to improve them. By evaluating system components, HCSEs can increase the efficiency of health workers and improve their performance.
This is why healthcare systems engineers ensure patients’ safety, thereby introducing a visible change in health. That’s why our HCSEs have become indispensable for a better future in healthcare internationally in the 21 century.