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WASHINGTON, D.C. — (June 3, 2014) — In a new report, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), recommends implementing a “systems engineering” approach to achieve lower cost and higher quality in health care. 

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach widely used in manufacturing and aviation, but only in a limited way in health care due to a number of barriers, including the fee-for-service payment system. The report, titled “Better Health Care and Lower Costs: Accelerating Improvement through Systems Engineering,” proposes a strategy to overcome these barriers so the full potential of systems engineering to improve health care can be achieved.

The report, submitted to President Obama on May 29, was authored by the PCAST Systems Engineering in Health Care Working Group of which Virginia Mason Chairman & CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, is a member.

A White House blog and fact sheet on the PCAST report provides additional information.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,600 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety.

To learn more about Virginia Mason, please visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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