COVID Operations Management Lessons with Eugene Litvak

headshot of Eugene Litvak

Eugene Litvak, President and CEO of the non-profit Institute for Healthcare Optimization, discussed operations management lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic at the July, 2021 CHDS seminar.

Litvak highlighted that hospitals may be able to increase the number of patients treated without adding inpatient beds or operating rooms if they better manage variability in hospital flows, particularly focusing on elective admissions where hospitals have seen improvements in access and quality of care for patients needing emergency care, as well as improved patient and provider satisfaction. He also demonstrated that pooled COVID-19 testing may be more efficient than individual testing, but only when using split pooling. With regard to vaccination, Litvak noted that the number of individuals vaccinated was often limited by the number of vaccinators rather than the supply of vaccines available.

Finally, Litvak discussed why policymakers and other health care stakeholders may be hesitant to adopt new operations management practices that may improve both health and economic outcomes, including economic incentives, such as those that encourage healthcare providers to prioritize elective surgery patients. Failure to adopt improved management practices may also be a result of behavioral biases.

This seminar was part of the CHDS monthly online seminar series. To be added to the email list for future seminars, please send your request to

Learn more: Read about Eugene Litvak’s work
Learn more: Explore the Resource Pack: COVID-19 Scientific Portals

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