Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership



The report builds on a growing realization within the health care community of the critical role information/ communications technologies, systems engineering tools, and related organizational innovations must play in addressing the interrelated quality and productivity crises facing the health care system. The report provides a framework for change and an action plan for a systems approach to health care delivery based on a partnership between engineers, health care professionals, and health care managers. The goal of the plan is to transform the U.S. health care sector from an underperforming conglomerate of independent entities (individual practitioners, small group practices, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, etc.) into a high-performance "system" in which participating units recognize their interdependence and the implications and repercussions of their actions on the system as a whole. The report describes opportunities and challenges to using systems engineering, information technologies, and other tools to advance a twenty-first century system capable of delivering safe, effective, timely, patient-centered, efficient, equitable health care — a system that embodies the six "equality aims" envisioned in Crossing the Quality Chasm.


Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation (Award No. DMI-0222041), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant No. 044640), and the National Institutes of Health (Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, Task Order No. 111). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the National Academy of Engineering/Institute of Medicine Committee on Engineering and the Health Care System and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding organizations, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.