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Center for eHealth Innovation and Process Transformation (CeHIPT). Interdisciplinary research to transform health care delivery. CeHIPT Executive Council Isa Bar-On Sharon A. Johnson Diane M. Strong Bengisu Tulu Spring 2010.

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center for ehealth innovation and process transformation cehipt

Center for eHealth Innovation and Process Transformation (CeHIPT)

Interdisciplinary research to transform health care delivery

CeHIPT Executive Council

Isa Bar-On

Sharon A. Johnson

Diane M. Strong

Bengisu Tulu

Spring 2010


Since its founding in Worcester in 1865, WPI has taken a unique approach to education. Our applied, project-based curriculum ensures that students in our more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs can apply their knowledge of science, engineering, technology, business, social sciences, and the humanities and arts. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, health care, nanotechnology, robotics and information technology.

WPI’sCenter for eHealth Innovation and Process Transformation (CeHIPT)

conducts interdisciplinary research to help health care organizations successfully transform their care delivery processes. Our project teams include researchers from health care, engineering, science, and management disciplines within and outside WPI. The research teams study health care delivery innovations and the dynamics of change as related to the implementation and use of electronic medical records, telemedicine, lean processes, and personal health records. • 508-831-6199 •

cehipt approach interdisciplinary collaboration
CeHIPT Approach – Interdisciplinary Collaboration

A community of researchers working on real health care problems

Collaborating on

research projects with

clinical partners to

solve real problems

Building a






  • Bridge process and technology approaches
  • Combine technologies with new ways of delivering care
  • Integrate the best knowledge of:
    • IT
    • Medical informatics
    • Health care
    • Industrial & Systems Engineering
    • Device engineering
    • Management
    • Economics
  • Partners across care delivery to a variety of populations
  • Fallon Clinic
  • UMass Memorial Health Care
  • Family Health Center of Worcester
  • New England VA
  • UMass Medical School
  • Where competitors and suppliers can discuss common problems

CeHIPT Breakfast Symposium

Breakout Session

We work on projects of value to the health care community.


C e H I P T

CeHIPT Vision

Enabling the successful transformation of health care delivery processes

Transformation Tools


Lean Methods

Integrated Solutions


Case Studies


Medical Home






CeHIPT @ WPI has the interdisciplinary perspective,

the technological expertise, and the clinical partners to

achieve its vision of transforming health care delivery.




Current CeHIPT Projects

A variety of projects, clinical partners, processes, and technologies

Electronic and Personal Health Records (NSF-funded project)

  • Clinic Partners: UMMHC, Fallon Clinic, FHCW, Israel, Canada
  • Focus: Understand how EMR/EHR/PHR solutions can contribute to transforming care delivery

New England Health Care Engineering Partnership (NEHCEP – VA funded)

  • Clinical Partners: New England VA Health System; Research Partners: VISN 1, MIT, Northeastern
  • Focus: Using lean process design and modeling techniques to design innovative, patient-centered health care delivery processes, for care at the bedside, comp and pen exams, etc.

Improved Medical Measurement

  • Clinical Partner: UMass Memorial
  • Focus: Design and test measurement methods from existing clinical data

TeleWound Care

  • Clinical Partner: UMass Medical School
  • Focus: Develop and test technologies (images and algorithms for wound analysis), processes, and reimbursement policies to support clinical decision-making for delivering wound care remotely
  • Faculty: from computer and biomedical engineering, IT, and health care economics
  • A common theme: linking IT and process



Research Observations – Challenges

Achieving successful EHR implementation and transformational EHR use is challenging




Opportunities for



Effectiveness Curve

Costs and Difficulties of Transitioning to an EHR

The Challenges

  • Facilitating the initial transition to an EHR
  • Enabling transformation through meaningful use of health IT
  • Connecting the EHRs
  • Supporting individual, organizational, and national journeys to change
  • Overcoming the challenges: a better health care system and a healthier population



Research Observations – EHR/PHR Opportunities

EHRs provide many possibilities for transformation

Opportunities created by a connected health IT foundation

  • Individual patient information available when and where needed
  • Ability to manage and treat patient populations (beyond the individual)
  • Better deployment of expensive health care resources
  • Use of EHR-collected data to support clinical decision making
  • Use of EHR-collected data to design better health care delivery processes
  • Ability to bring care to patients via home-based technologies

The opportunities from a connected health IT foundation are well worth the effort. Massachusetts needs to continue leading the way.



Research Observations – Empowering Patients

A healthier population requires empowered patients – who are more actively involved in their health and their health care

Importance of Empowering Patients

  • A theme that emerged from our current CeHIPT projects
  • A growing focus of CeHIPT research projects

Opportunities for supporting patient empowerment:

  • Design processes and technologies that:
    • encourage patient engagement
    • promote better health habits
  • Support prevention and early detection of common health issues
  • Utilize PHR and telehealth technologies to improve health management
  • Establish proactive primary care through patient-centered medical home practices
  • Managing health avoids expensive health care.



Observations – Educational Needs

New ways of thinking are necessary for transformation

For health care professionals:

  • Basic understanding of system engineering tools and information technologies
  • Ability to visualize processes and recognize opportunities

For leaders, engineers, and IT professionals:

  • Understanding of the health care environment, culture, and terminology
  • Ability to recognize and implement feasible solutions

Opportunities for meeting educational needs:

  • Provide educational programs that build on and link strong foundations in clinical and engineering/IT education
  • Create opportunities to practice application of tools and techniques in health care settings, through strong partnerships between universities and health care organizations
    • Testbed and experimental environments for exploring design options
    • Internships and projects

Massachusetts is well positioned to meet these educational needs.



Next Steps for Massachusetts and WPI

The Nation is catching up with Massachusetts and its health care reforms.

Massachusetts can be proud of its excellent health care system

  • Leadership in health care policies and reforms
  • Exemplary health care delivery organizations throughout the state

And has exceptional resources for continued improvement

    • Excellent medical schools and educational institutions focused on engineering and IT
    • Health care organizations that are adopting improvement strategies and IT
    • WPI’s CeHIPT that is building a collaborative community of medical, engineering, and IT professionals focused on practical solutions that will transform how health care is delivered
    • WPI’s Biomedical engineering and life sciences education and research
    • WPI’s Project-based engineering and IT education, Practical research projects

But … health care innovation is a national priority

  • How can Massachusetts continue to lead this innovation?
  • Must invest creatively in an economically constrained environment

How can Massachusetts continue to be a health care leader?



Working Together

To continue Massachusetts’ leadership in health care delivery innovation

Massachusetts should be promoting and supporting:

  • Integrating both engineering and IT into health care delivery, e.g., lean methods, to ensure that technology provides transformational benefits
  • Innovative solutions for empowering patients
  • Innovative solutions for educating the workforce
    • Retraining by providing health care internships for IT and engineering professionals

We must work together by:

  • Building bridges across silos, in government, in education, in the health care workplace
    • Health care reform, economic development, and education must work together
  • Endorsing, supporting, and promoting health care innovation, e.g., CeHIPT
    • CeHIPT is a resource for the commonwealth’s promotion of health care innovation
    • Must find new opportunities for collaboration and funding to support innovations
    • Must seek and support educational innovations

Additional ideas for working together for a healthier future?

With your leadership, Massachusetts can continue to lead the nation.