December 1, 2023

Mathematische Optimierung im Gesundheitswesen prämiert

Sports Improvement in Healthcare Awards

Cream: Sports Improvement in Healthcare Awards
The Cardiff School of Mathematics’ health modeling team, which also includes Doris Burns, has been awarded the Lynn Thomas Impact Medal for their work.

(10/11/21): A resident researcher program established in partnership between Cardiff University and the Anurine Bevan University Health Board that uses mathematical modeling to improve service delivery in the health system. This has so far resulted in cost savings of at least £12.1 million and improved patient care.

In the healthcare system, the quality of care as well as patient satisfaction and work ethic for clinical staff suffers from the steadily increasing demand for medical services while the absorptive capacity is stagnant at the same time. This is especially true of the British National Health Service (NHS).

Since 2014, part of the Operational Research (OR) group at Cardiff University has been working closely with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) as part of a unique collaboration programme. The core focus is the creation of an initial four-person team of postdoctoral mathematicians (with a major in OR) within the ABUHB Continuous Improvement Department. This resident scholar program provides mathematicians with unrestricted access to data and ongoing dialogue with health workers, clinicians, senior managers, and financial planners. In close collaboration with these NHS staff, mathematicians develop OR tools for everyday practice, train NHS staff on how to use these means, create simulation models, provide model-based decision support for strategic and operational planning and help implement measures in practice.

Now the health modeling team was awarded the Lyn Thomas Impact Medal on November 11, 2021. “We are very pleased with this award. As you can see from the results, the use of practical research methods has proven useful. It helps reduce costs and make work more efficient. I think we can also achieve great success in Austria with these methods,” says the university professor. Diploma – Ing. Doctor. Doris Burns, Head of Economics and Health and a long-time member of the Welsh Mathematics Team.

health care change
The goal was to improve the quality of care and healthcare for the approximately 650,000 people for whom the ABUHB is responsible. Efficiency, effectiveness and equitable distribution of healthcare as well as appointment allocation and patient safety have all changed positively through more than 150 projects. Six of these projects have been dedicated to the Lyn Thomas Impact Medal, which has saved more than £12.1 million to date. This includes successful model-based adaptation of emergency care structure and equipment between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM, optimal process planning and scheduling of all ABUHB operating rooms and proactive staff planning during the first and second waves of COVID.
“The use of modeling techniques has become an integral part of health planning and delivery within the ABUHB. Healthcare providers in other parts of the UK and in countries like Germany are also benefiting from this, as they have adopted the tools developed by our team,” says Doris Burns, an expert at Practical research methods.

Employee training
The modeling team has also developed a range of practical courses tailored to the needs of NHS staff. Practical skills in Microsoft Excel allow, for example, to reach a low threshold to better understand one’s data (and thus make better decisions), perform simple statistical tests and be able to use statistical process control. So far, more than 350 NHS Wales staff members have attended these courses.

In 2017, the OR team also launched the Analytics and Modeling Academy (AMA) program. In the course of this ten-month training programme, NHS staff will be introduced to a range of operating room skills and techniques and their applicability, so that they can become ‘ambassadors for the possibilities of mathematical modeling within the NHS’. A positive side effect is that the three cohorts of AMA graduates (both managers and clinical staff) have learned to carry out their modeling projects under the supervision and implementation of action recommendations in practice. In the past, this has included the potential effects of additional pharmacy and emergency room treatment staff on patient safety, forecasting the planned care needs of the population over 65 years of age (by region) and developing a decision-making tool to support the planning of planned orthopedics.

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Lynn Thomas Impact Medal
The Lyn Thomas Impact Medal is awarded annually in the UK for operational scientific research that has best demonstrated both novelty and positive impact on the real world.

More information: 20Thomas%20 Influence, Leisure%2C%20Health%20related%2C%20 Politics%2C%20Quality%20of%20Life%2C%20 etc.
University Prof. Diploma – Ing. Dr.. Doris Burns
Head – Department of Economics and Health
Danube University Krems
phone. +43 (0) 2732893-2603
[email protected]