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Health Systems Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
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GVU/HSI Brown Bag :: Nosocomial Infection Control as a Collaboration between Industrial Engineering and Health Space Design

presented by Drs. Pinar Keskinocak and Ellen Do as part of the GVU Brown Bag Series

DATE: Thursday, October 9, 2008
TIME: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
[ Video Archive ]
LOCATION: Technology Square Research Building, 1st floor - Room 132

In the U.S. alone, nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections occur at the rate of approximately two million per year, with one hundred thousand of these leading to death. The suffering, loss of productivity, expenditure of scarce health-care resources, coupled with the rising resistance of many pathogens, make this issue urgent and important. Since it is difficult or expensive to observe colonization and ascertain whether a patient was infected prior to, or during hospitalization, and the process by which pathogens spread depends on the behavior of patients, health-care workers, visitors and the community at large, the best strategy to reduce nosocomial infection rates is unknown. Two possible approaches to reduction include: screening for isolation and improved hygiene approaches. The costs involved are not yet clear, and in particular, the non-healthcare productivity costs need to be included in any cost-benefit analysis of policies.

Pinar Keskinocak will discuss her research on Evaluating the Efficacy and Efficiency of Competing Approaches to Reducing Nosocomial Infection Rates, using simulation to model how different strategies may impact rates of nosocomial infections, their costs in the long and short term, as well as the overall interaction between hospitals and the community. Improved adherence to hand hygiene can significantly reduce the transmission of multi-drug resistant organisms and prevent many healthcare associated infections. Despite widespread acceptance of the importance of hand hygiene and the existence of CDC/HICPAC guidelines recommending hand hygiene before and after patient contact, compliance with hand hygiene is poor in many healthcare settings. Successful programs to increase hand hygiene compliance are multifaceted and include a component of compliance monitoring. Electronic monitoring and reminding systems show considerable promise in providing significant and lasting improvements in hand hygiene.

Ellen Yi-Luen Do will discuss the project of Nosocomial Control using RFID technology with Evidence-Based Design for patient room, as well as the Technological Interventions and Measurement for Hand Hygiene Adherence project to create a next generation monitoring system that will allow more accurate automatic data measurement and recording, to be implemented at Emory Crawford Long Hospital pending on CDC funding.

Pinar Keskinocak is an associate professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the co-director of the Center for Humanitarian Logistics at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received B.S. and M.S. degrees in industrial engineering from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, in 1991 and 1992, and a Ph.D. in operations research from Carnegie Mellon University in 1997. Before joining Georgia Tech, she was with IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. Her research focuses on supply chain management, with an emphasis on resource allocation, revenue management, auctions/pricing, due date/lead-time decisions, production planning/scheduling, and logistics/transportation. She has worked on projects in several industries including automotive, semiconductor, paper manufacturing, printing, healthcare, and airlines. She is also actively engaged in research and applications in healthcare and humanitarian logistics. She is an associate editor of Management Science and IIE Transactions, a senior editor of Production and Operations Management (POMS), and on the editorial board of Journal of Revenue & Pricing Management. She is one of the founding members of the INFORMS-JFIG (Junior Faculty at Informs) group and has served as the president of JFIG. She also has served as the Chair of the INFORMS Doctoral Colloquium in 2003; Chair of the Nicholson Prize in 2005; Vice President-Projects and Vice President-Meetings, INFORMS Forum on Education (INFORM-ED); Treasurer, MSOM Society; and President and Vice President-Meetings, INFORMS Forum for Women in OR/MS (WORMS).

Ellen Yi-Luen Do is an associate professor in College of Architecture and School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is also an affiliate faculty at the Health Systems Institute. Before joining Georgia Tech, Ellen was on the faculty in the computational design program at Carnegie Mellon University, where she co-directed the CoDe Lab ( and was an affiliate faculty at the Human Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) at Carnegie Mellon University (Sep 04-Dec 05). For the past decade, she has worked on design computing projects including the development of freehand sketching, gesture and physical objects as an intuitive interface to knowledge based design systems, diagram indexing and retrieval to case-based systems, design cognition and creativity, visual analysis tools, 3D sketching for annotation and performance simulation, and the area of visual and spatial reasoning in education. She created and has been teaching an interdisciplinary Healthcare Environment of the Future class at Georgia Tech since 2006 to investigate and explore opportunities for integrative health space design that incorporates design, computing and physical environment toward a Smart Healing Environment. She is a member of ACM, IEEE, ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture) and the AIA (American Institute of Architects). She is an ex-officio steering committee member at ACADIA and currently on the Editorial Board for IJAC, the International Journal of Architectural Computing and AIEDAM, journal of Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing by Cambridge University Press.

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