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The influence of race/ethnicity in socioeconomic status

Using sepsis treatment as an example, the systems engineer would build a model of the process of care delivery as follows: define the steps (blood cultures, fluid administration, antibiotic administration, source identification, lactate measurement, central line insertion, blood product administration, and so on); identify the system components required to deliver care (what equipment is required, who are the personnel, how is the task performed); perform a field observation study of, for example, frequency of occurrence of sepsis resuscitation, sepsis resource utilization, time taken to complete each step, process completion and failure rates. The resulting computer model would then be used to identify weak-nesses, redundancies, failures, and successes in sepsis resuscitation processes and to simulate the impact of changes in those processes on outcomes such as sepsis bundle compliance rates and time to resuscitation. The advantage of this approach is that it greatly enhances our ability to identify vulnerabilities and test solutions before exposing patients to changes that may result in unanticipated harm. The future challenge for physicians and engineers is to develop a common understanding and to apply established engineering practices to the health care setting.