Technology Today

2013 Issue 1


Engineering Profiles

2011 Raytheon Excellence in Operations and Quality Awards

Dr. Beth Wilson, IDS Principal Engineering Fellow, delivers the keynote address at the SEtdp Wave 32 graduation banquet.
Systems Engineering Technical Development (SEtdp) Program

Raytheon’s Systems Engineering Technical Development Program (SEtdp) is an enterprise talent development program designed to accelerate the development of Raytheon’s future technical leaders (i.e., chief engineers, lead systems engineers, technical directors). Program participants, nominated from top engineering talent enterprisewide, undergo an intensive screening process. SEtdp includes both formal presentation-style learning as well as informal learning through team projects, and interactions. Each year a new “wave” of SEtdp participants study for a week at each of Raytheon’s business headquarters. Subject matter experts and leadership team members present technical and business overviews of important programs and technologies within each business. A graduation event acknowledges students’ accomplishments and highlights their new responsibilities as systems engineering leaders.

Figure 1. The Raytheon Medical Analytics System (RMAS) provides

A key component of SEtdp is the capstone project. Project topics are selected from business and corporate proposals and are designed to allow the SEtdp participants to develop their systems engineering skills in cross-business teams of five to six engineers. Recent projects have been selected to support business growth, develop participants’ business and financial acumen, and challenge their analytical skills in addressing critical problems.

Wave 32 was assigned a set of five projects related to healthcare, and they were asked to look at opportunities to leverage Raytheon’s core competencies and technologies in this arena. A panel of leading systems engineers from across the company selected one project, “Deploying Predictive Modeling in Healthcare Systems,” as “Best in Wave.”

John Shea, a SEtdp project sponsor, described the healthcare project ideas as a way of challenging the SEtdp participants to “imagine ways to translate our know-how and engineering methodologies into a totally foreign problem domain. The experience taught us that as engineers we can apply our skills and energy to practically anything and see results in terms of ideas, specifications and architectures.”

Deploying Predictive Modeling in Healthcare Systems Capstone Project

The SEtdp Predictive Analytics team, as part of their winning project, designed the Raytheon Medical Analytics System (RMAS) that accesses electronic medical/health records (EMR/EHR) and, using predictive analytics, predicts patient outcomes after discharge from a hospital (see Figure 1). A discharge planning use case was used to define the design and development of RMAS. This use case was defined by how likely a patient was to be readmitted to a hospital 30 days after discharge. This topic choice was motivated by research which showed that reduction of readmission rates could reduce Medicare costs and improve the quality of patient care.1 The SEtdp team demonstrated that by providing an RMAS-calculated risk metric, healthcare organizations could improve discharge planning and reduce the number of readmissions.

(left to right) SEtdp participant Nora Tgavalekos and teammate

The RMAS system functions via a web-based interface from which the discharge planner can search for and select the specific patient/visit record within the hospital’s EMR/EHR database and then extract the selected patient’s clinical data from the healthcare organization’s EMR/EHR database. Using a predictive analytics algorithm, RMAS assesses the patient’s readmission risk and displays it to the planner. The planner can then leverage the risk assessment as an input to discharge plan development, allowing recommendations for increased hospital stay duration or follow-on home visits post-discharge.

RMAS is expected to increase the accuracy and fidelity of a patient’s health state assessment, support the assessment of the readmission risk and enable preference-based planning that considers different post-discharge plans based on these inputs.

Raytheon Enterprise Engineering Talent Development Program Information

SEtdp is one learning program in a suite of programs offered by Raytheon’s Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance and Global Talent Development organizations to support engineering development. For more information on eligibility for these programs, contact your business talent development representative or Paul Benton at Global Talent Development.

Nora Tgavalekos, Ph.D., and Paul Benton
Contributors: Alba Ortiz-Diaz, Brian McFarland, Josh Danker and Jorge Rodriguez

1. Stone, Julie and Hoffman, Geoffrey J., “Medicare Hospital Readmissions: Issues, Policy Options and PPACA”, CRS Report for Congress, 21 September 2010, CRS_Readmissions_Report.pdf.

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