The David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium: Brittany Rasmussen and Rebecca Swaszek

Brittany Rasmussen and Rebecca Swaszek
"Quantitative Models in Healthcare Finance"
Department: Industrial Systems Engineering
Advisor: Professor Aurélie Thiele


Abstract:
The “Social Goods Model” (Wheeler and Clement 1990) incorporates the intangible value of healthcare services, such as the idea that tax-exempt hospitals should provide a social benefit to community. The traditional model combines commercial and social value in one monetary measure, discounting cash flows and social outputs with different factors. The focus here is on financing decisions such as capital expenditure (e.g., buying new MRI machine). Our con tributions will include: analyzing the impact on the decision of considering commercial present value and social output separately, in particular in situations where a monetary value for social outputs is hard to determine. And designing an optimization m odel where the manager selects projects to maximize Commercial Present Value while ensuring that Total Social Value is above a threshold to provide enough social value to community.

We also use decision trees to model sequential decision-making in healthcare. The models we have created encompass a patient’s well-being from discharge to cure for acute conditions as well as chronic. The examples studied are that of the amount of time a nurse should spend reminding a patient to take their medication in order to minimize total cost and the way to choose the least costly medication regimen given certain symptoms. In this study we take into account factors of different costs, times, and probabilities to perform a sensitivity analysis.

About Brittany and Rebecca:
Brittany Rasmussen is an Industrial Engineering major with a minor in Health, Medicine, and Society. At Lehigh she is the treasurer for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), a key member of an executive committee working to redesign the Health Prevention program, and is an active peer educator. In addition to her work at Lehigh, Brittany interned with Bayada Home Health Care this past summer. In her free time she enjoys to read, do puzzles and spend time with friends and family. Brittany plans to continue working in the healthcare industry and has a special interest in working with not-for-profit hospitals.

Rebecca Swaszek is an Industrial Engineering major considering a minor in History. She is a consistent Dean’s List student, a member of the engineering honors society Tau Beta Pi, and received the ISE Department’s Industrial Engineering Sophomore of the Year award in 2012. At Lehigh she is involved with women’s club lacrosse, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and has tutored prisoners at a local correctional institution through the University’s Department of Religion. This summer she will travel to Slovenia as a Martindale Student Associate to study the country’s investment in infrastructure and transportation systems. She has held an internship at the headquarters of OCJL, a retail corporation with over 100 stores, for two consecutive summers. In her free time she pursues her interests in running, French culture, and textile design. Rebecca plans to attend graduate school and earn her doctorate in Industrial Engineering with a possible career of professorship.

Research Poster

Click here to view the poster


Undergraduate Research Symposium Results

Congratulations to this year's
winner of the Symposium:

Nadia Krook, "In Vitro Examination
of Poly(glycerol sebacate)
Degradation Kinetics: Effects of
Porosity and Cure Temperature"

2nd Place: Isaac Lavine

3rd Place: Michael Beddow
and Matthew Tessitore

People's Choice: Corrin Pimentel


"Turning The Tables On Learning"

Dean David Wu's latest contribution in the February 25, 2013 issue of the Brown & White covered a variety of topics, including the Undergraduate Research Symposium's impact on past graduates.