Question: What can result from the partnership of CECS engineering, engineering technology, and computer science students and faculty with Erlanger Health System surgeons and other healthcare professionals?

Answer: Lots……More than you might think…. enough to get college students awake at 7:30 a.m.

In our ever-changing world, it is essential that healthcare systems are developed to meet user information needs and are safe. To ensure those essential goals, a variety of methods have emerged from the areas of usability engineering, data driven computer innovations and research, and multidisciplinary project design, adapted to healthcare.  A new partnership between CECS and Erlanger Health Systems is focused on those goals with applied research projects involving students and surgeons leading to improvements in patient care and accessibility.

With the collaborative leadership of Jed Mescon, Vice President of Public Relations, Marketing, and Development for Erlanger Health Systems, Dr. Li Yang, Assistant Dean of the College, and Julie David, CECS’ Student Success Center Director, the new partnership with monthly early morning brainstorming sessions between Erlanger surgeons and CECS students is off to a great start.  Students have the opportunity to job shadow surgeons to observe processes, procedures, work flow and other key areas of healthcare delivery and patient access.  The initial projects resulting from the collaboration range from development of a comprehensive highway signage plan for the Chattanooga and Hamilton County area hospitals,  to a study of patient release procedures with a focus on efficiency, workflow and communication, to an engineering review of improving kidney surgery procedures to ensure organ viability and improved patient recovery times.

Mechanical, Civil, and Chemical engineering students as well as Computer Science and Engineering students and faculty have begun initial work with Erlanger physicians Drs. Amar Singh, Peter Boehm, Jr., and Benjamin Dart. In commenting on his initial efforts with Erlanger and the Tennessee Department of Transportation on the highway signage project, senior Civil Engineering major and US Navy Veteran Hospital Corpsman Damon Jarrod Magourik said, “ This is a networking opportunity like no other. We are given a chance to work directly with potential employers on a real-world problems. We are pursuing our degrees not only for the knowledge and skills acquisition, but also for future employment.”

The CECS students are not showing up at 7:30 a.m. for the coffee, bagels and cream cheese. Instead, it’s to see how they can put what they are learning in the College’s classrooms and labs to work with healthcare providers in improving  lives.

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