Industrial engineering students optimize healthcare systems for capstone project

May 24, 2023

Student Capstones Spring 2023 Industrial and Systems Engineering

Industrial engineering students this past semester developed a new model to improve patient flow at MU Health Care.

The project was part of a capstone class, which allows seniors to wrap up their industrial engineering degrees by solving real-world problems. Other groups completed similar projects, working with industry partners and gaining experience before they begin their careers.

Riley Arns, Maggie Dimler, Reegan Spicer and Michael Stroud made up the group partnered with MU Health Care. Read on to learn more about the project from Stroud, as well as what he learned.

What was the problem your group set out to solve?Our capstone centered around modeling the patient flow throughout University of Missouri Health Care. Because the healthcare environment is so expensive, we wanted to incorporate simulation into the decision-making process so executives could make data-driven decisions.

Our project objective was “to demonstrate how a patient flow model can support strategic planning by enabling executives to evaluate potential outcomes.”

What were the results?
The results were super cool! When we showed our project to MU Health Care, they were really happy with the results, and although full implementation of a simulation idea would take a lot more time, we provided a convincing argument that simulation could be used in MUHC decision making. We showcased several “what-if” scenarios that are applicable to the healthcare field.

What did you learn during the project?
We learned how to work together as a team and accomplish a new type of project. This project pushed us to learn the healthcare environment and implement industrial engineering techniques to improve the system.

How did your Mizzou Engineering education prepare you for the capstone?
Mizzou Engineering prepared us by providing us fundamental knowledge on the simulation software utilized. As well, MU provided us with the foundation by teaching us concepts such as factory physics to see healthcare from a unique angle.

Thanks for sharing!

Learn more about the industrial engineering program at Mizzou and apply today!