A benchmark study - How industrial engineering undergraduate programs are addressing healthcare needs
Mustaquim, T., Boudreaux, P., Nahmens, I., Harvey, C., & Ikuma, L. (2019). A benchmark study- how Industrial Engineering undergraduate programs are addressing healthcare needs. Journal of Management & Engineering Integration, 12(2), 59-66.
While healthcare in the U.S. has made great strides at improvement, the delivery system still needs major changes, as evidenced by increasing costs (4-10% per year) and ongoing problems with patient safety. Healthcare improvement requires skills in quality, information technology, safety, human factors, and project management, which are all topics taught in the Industrial Engineering (IE) curriculum. However, for IE to accurately address healthcare's needs, curricula need to be enhanced with healthcare applications and reinforced with hands-on experience. As the influence of IE in healthcare grows, it is important to assess if academia is keeping up with this change. This study benchmarked IE undergraduate programs in the U.S. to evaluate their emphasis on healthcare, including courses, certificate programs and concentration areas or tracks. In addition, this study reviews an approach taken by the Louisiana State University IE program through a "Partnership to Prepare Undergraduates in Industrial Engineering for Careers in Healthcare" with the W. M. Keck Foundation as an example of integrating healthcare into IE curriculum. Lessons learned from this study are discussed and used to propose guidelines to integrate healthcare topics in IE curricula. Findings from this research will contribute to a better understanding of the availability of IE programs with a healthcare focus and formally develop as an academic path for undergraduate students.