SMART Infrastructure Facility researcher has been awarded a US patent for a modelling tool that better utilises hospital resources for improved patient care.
The ‘Unwarranted Variations Model for Healthcare Services’ was developed by Associate Research Fellow Dr Nagesh Shukla during his PhD candidature at the University of Warwick in the UK.
Unwarranted variations are differences in healthcare service delivery that cannot be explained by illness or medical need. They are sometimes termed geographic variations and are often caused by differences in availability of services or resources between comparable regions.
Dr Shukla said the main application of the model is to “inform strategic planning in hospitals and to report and control monitoring of health care services.” “It can help to better utilise the resources of the hospital and streamline the flow of patients,” he said.
Building on this research in his role at SMART, Dr Shukla is further developing such models by working with Wollongong health services to apply the work to their processes. “The idea is to engage the local hospital to use some of these techniques,” he said.
This type of modelling offers real benefits in service delivery and quality for the local community.
The PhD research was supported by Dr Crispian Lee Sievenpiper from GE Healthcare and Professor Darek Ceglarek from the University of Warwick.
In addition to his work with local health providers, Dr Shukla is involved in SMART Infrastructure Facility projects related to rail logistics, integrated land use and transportation modelling.