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Innovating the Medical Service by Combining Mathematical and Management Sciences

2013.03.27

Unit Name:
Medical Service Science
Unit representative:
Hideaki Takagi / Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems

Unit members:
15 (14 faculty members, 1 postdoctoral fellow, none from other organizations)

Key words:
medical management, service science, patient satisfaction, mathematical optimization

 

Now that the service sector accounts for 70% of each nation’s social economy, this research unit aims to clarify the complex activities of people engaged in the service industry, including employees and customers, through scientific approaches. The scientific investigation of methods to improve productivity in the service industry should contribute to not only national economic development, but also the improvement of people’s quality of life (QOL). This is a science of the 21st century based on the technologies to collect, accumulate, and manage a huge amount of data as well as the knowledge to analyze them appropriately.

Innovation of Medical Service

In hospital management, it is necessary to consider very complex variables such as the satisfaction levels of all those involved in addition to a huge amount of data regarding financial and facility management, patient treatment, and hospital staff’s working conditions. Although we are not involved in medical treatment and clinical research, we aim to contribute to the system improvement and optimization by scientifically examining these data (Figures 1 and 2).

 

For example, patient rooms are allocated in consideration of various factors such as the relevant clinical department and requested room type (standard/private). Currently, in the University of Tsukuba Hospital, a manual room allocation procedure is being implemented, taking much time and effort. We are considering the semi-automation of this procedure, using technology for mathematical optimization, to reduce the manual labor needed for patient room management. This may enable doctors and nurses to concentrate on their treatment and nursing duties, and consequently provide patients with more satisfactory services. As a part of this system, visually sophisticated and easy-to-use software for tablets has already been developed (Figure 3).

Figure 3 : A researcher using patient room management software under development

Figure 3 : A researcher using patient room management software under development

 

Enhancing the Productivity and People’s QOL by Innovating Service Operations

The patient room management system we are developing is based on empirical research combining management, mathematical, and information sciences. It is possible to mathematically examine the efficiency by adopting such a new scientific approach in the service industry. Furthermore, logical analysis enables us to impartially identify the points for improvement based on numerical values rather than by experience or intuition. We aim to enhance people’s QOL by examining the satisfaction levels of both service providers and recipients in addition to the increasing in productivity.

 

Social contributions and achievements
●Establishment of innovative systems to enhance the quality and efficiency of operating systems by combining management, mathematical, and information sciences
●Innovation of medical management systems which has not been sufficiently developed in Japan
●University extension course for local service providers entitled “Service Improvement Training Course” and a seminar cosponsored by the University of Tsukuba Hospital entitled “Medical Service Management Workshop” (Figure 4).
Figure 4: View of the workshopFigure 4: View of the workshop

(Interviewed on May 9, 2013)


Research Administration/Management Office at U Tsukuba TEL 029-853-4434