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NC State student uses medical data to boost hospital efficiency

Posted August 31

Hospitals are getting bigger, so accessing care can be even more complex and time consuming, but there is a science behind streamlining healthcare systems.

A North Carolina State University sophomore is on a mission to use that science to improve care in the Triangle—and around the world.

Nishant Singh believes in collecting real life medical data to solve real world problems using pictures on a screen.

"So, it was the perfect blend of using logic, analyzing a situation and trying to figure out the best way of creating a solution," Singh said.

The Industrial and Systems Engineering student is focused on "patient mapping," tracking patients' treatment footprint for every dollar the system spends.

N.C. State Professor Dr. Julie Ivy first met Singh during a camp for high schoolers where campers looked at different health delivery problems.

"We asked (if they) could they come up with something better," Ivy said.

Now as a sophomore, he's already involved in graduate level research.

"Nishant is as active as any graduate student we have," Ivy said.

This isn't just classwork, though. Singh has gathered real patient care data at various hospitals to run through his models.

He found a radiation machine was in use 99 percent of the time. Adding a new one would cost $4 million but could reduce treatment errors.

"It went down to a more healthy 85 percent, which is considered at the safety threshold," Singh said.

That's information that could help real hospitals.

Singh is also involved in fundraising for CRY America to help underprivileged children in India. He once visited some of their hospitals.

"The information was all, like, on paper, where here, we have things all digitized, and it's quick and efficient," Singh said. "The doctor knows exactly what you need."

One day he hopes to use computer models like these to improve patient care around the world.

Five years ago while still in middle school, Singh helped start a local chapter for Child Rights and You, which includes the CRY America charity.

They'll have their fifth annual fundraising walk on Sept. 25 at the Apex Community Park.

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