The Role of Command Centers in Health System Operations


Monday, November 29, 2021


4:30pm - 5:30pm


IOE 1680 and on Zoom (for Zoom link/password, RSVP at


Hospitals nationally have struggled with the challenges of increasing demand and limited overall capacity leading to bottlenecks in care and inefficient patient flow through the hospital.  Given constraints on expanding bed capacity including both high costs and regulatory barriers, hospitals have increasingly focused on improving operational efficiency as a method to improve patient flow.  Michigan Medicine and UM Health have been on a journey to improve patient flow over several years through the application of engineering principles, analytics, improved management of variation, and creation of a system-wide playbook for how we approach capacity management and patient flow in our hospitals. This work has culminated in a current project to develop and implement a hospital command center as the next step in creating reliable system-wide processes to manage patient flow and safety.  In this talk I will describe our journey in hospital capacity management, walk through our playbook and principles and finish with an update on how we are planning to integrate all these lessons learned into our new hospital command center that will go live in late 2022.

Vikas I. Parekh, M.D., is Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan where he is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for U-M Health. As Associate Chief Medical officer, he guides the health system’s work on capacity management, readmissions and leads an operational analytics team working to optimize patient flow and operational challenges throughout the health system as lead for the multi-million-dollar Command Center project. He has published and presented nationally in the fields of hospital medicine, residency education and hospital operations and capacity management. Dr. Parekh is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School and completed his residency training at the University of Michigan. Dr. Parekh has won several awards including the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize, the Special Recognition Award for Contributions to the House Officer Teaching Program, the H. Marvin Pollard Award, the Department of Medicine’s highest award for resident teaching and the Chair’s Impact Award for his work during COVID-19 and was inducted into the Medical School’s League of Educational Excellence.

This seminar series is presented by the U-M Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS): Our mission is to improve the safety and quality of healthcare delivery through a multi-disciplinary, systems-engineering approach. For the Zoom link and password and to be added to the weekly e-mail for the series, please RSVP. For additional questions, contact Photographs and video taken at this event may be used to promote CHEPS, College of Engineering, and the University.

All seminars will be held in-person in IOE 1680 as well as virtually on Zoom. For the Zoom link and password, RSVP at To view all of our upcoming seminars, see


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