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Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems

The Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems (CIHDS) was recently formed with a mission to capitalize on the existing strengths of Penn State and promote a holistic approach to understanding and solving problems of access and quality in healthcare.
As one of the top ten universities nationwide in research expenditures, Penn State is an established home for discovery and innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration is a part of our institutional culture. Joint initiatives between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center – unique among top academic medical centers for its service to a primarily rural population – and the University’s highly regarded colleges of Engineering, Information Sciences & Technology, and Health & Human Development have already resulted in important breakthroughs in surgical techniques, facility design, technology design, and management of healthcare organizations. 
The CIHDS is led by Harriet Nembhard and is housed administratively in the College of Engineering, and strategically in the Penn State Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.  In 2011 the CIHDS received an Industry/University Collaborative Research Center Award from the National Science Foundation, establishing it as a site of the Center for Health Organization Transformation along with Texas A & M Health Center, Georgia Tech University, and Northeastern University.

While the nature of healthcare offers unique challenges, many of the issues facing providers, insurers, and patients have already been confronted by other industries. Systems principles and tools – from improved information management to human-factors analysis – have transformed fields such as manufacturing and transportation.
Professional associations and governmental organizations call upon the healthcare sector and systems-engineering experts to work together to address the current problems in the industry and create a new medical model that is “safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable.” – the six quality aims envisioned in the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Crossing the Quality Chasm. The Center’s core faculty investigators make up an accomplished and interdisciplinary team that is dedicated to developing and applying system principles to create a new medical model.

Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems website.