Gilles Clermont, MD, MSc, Professor of Critical Care Medicine, Mathematics, Industrial Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Clinical and Translational Science, was recently awarded a collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation focused on ICU management and patient flow. He has been named on the grant along with Andrew Schaefer, PhD, MCAM, Noah Harding Chair and Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University, and Guodong Pang, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University.
The collaborative research project, titled, “Physiologically Based Optimization of ICU Management,” targets the heavy resource burden that ICUs place on a hospital system, carrying operating costs that may at times make up 20 percent of a hospital’s budget. The research team aims to model patient flow through a hospital system by employing methods that are often used in other cases to improve the efficiency of supply chains, flight schedules, or vehicular traffic while at the same time maintaining an optimized level of resource use. In the case of hospital systems, ensuring that patients are assigned to the proper level of care, such as an ICU, is vital for achieving an optimal trade-off between outcomes and resource use.
The research team will leverage the large repository of EHR data at UPMC, along with transfer request data and actual transfer times, in order to systematically quantitate the existing discrepancies between patient state and level of care. That information can then be used to design improved transfer request policies based on patient state, expected readmission rates, and outcomes.
The project will receive funding from the NSF from September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2019, and will be conducted jointly with Rice University.