NEW! SMDM Operations Research Interest Group

A New Interest Group to Connect Operations Research and Medical Decision Making

The transformation of health care from reactive and disease-centered to proactive and patient-centered care has been an emerging focus of health systems worldwide. With this transformation comes many challenges, particularly the integration of analytic methods across diseases and care locations. The need for a systematic approach to inform medical decision making has been recognized by organizations such as the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the National Research Council (NRC), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  

There is a growing interest in methods and models that use operations research (OR) in clinical and administrative decision making. Leading organizations, such as IOM, recommend that health care systems utilize OR to become more efficient. Research opportunities at the intersection of medical decision making and OR require integrated approaches across diseases and care locations to provide innovative health care solutions while addressing system-based challenges, e.g., limited resources, dynamically changing patient needs, and stochastic clinical trajectories.

I am pleased to announce the new SMDM OR Interest Group. The objective of the OR Interest Group is to integrate the wide range of the methods and applications that define OR in health care instead of focusing on specific methodologies (e.g., discrete event simulation) or specific disease areas (e.g., infectious disease modeling). The new OR Interest Group will serve as a forum to share ideas and experiences regarding OR applications in health care, including decision analytical modeling for screening, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, predictive analytics for risk stratification, personalization of medicine, and health system optimization such as staffing, scheduling, and patient flow related topics. Our objective aligns with the mission and vision statements of SMDM, which emphasize the promotion of an integrated approach to health care decision making to improve health outcomes through the advancement of proactive systematic approaches.

Our goal for the first Interest Group meeting is to bring together the OR community at SMDM including practitioners, researchers, educators, and students who are interested in OR methodologies and their application to health care. We will address the current practices and challenges associated with using OR methodologies to support medical decision making. We will discuss the potential of new research areas. Our Interest Group meeting will promote research for medical decision making by providing an opportunity to meet our colleagues and enhancing collaboration opportunities.

We invite everyone who is interested to join our group in SMDM Connect site and attend our inaugural group meeting in St. Louis.

Muge Capan, PhD

Research Investigator
Value Institute
Christiana Care Health System
John H. Ammon Medical Education Center


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Nebiyu Mesfin Gedlu, MD
Nebiyu Mesfin Gedlu, MD

SMDM short courses helped me to understand the multidimensional perspective and comprehensiveness of decision science.

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