Healthcare Systems Engineering

Gathering of the Fellows

Control Chart Workshop




This workshop provides a hands-on introduction to using statistical process control (SPC) in healthcare - including selection, construction, and interpretation of common types of control charts. The workshop is open to the public and divided into two half-day sessions. The morning session assumes no background with SPC and covers basic concepts, common types of control charts, and their selection, construction, and interpretation. The afternoon session builds on the morning and covers common practical questions (sample size selection, updating control limits, etc),  rare events, more advanced charts, and related topics. Hands-on exercises using SPC software will weave through both sessions. Sample data sets will be provided but attendees are welcome to bring their own as well.

SPC Chart Example

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June 24, 2015
Fenway Center
77 St. Stephen St.
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115 
Northeastern's campus map.


Morning Session: Introduction to Control Charts
8:30 Introductions
9:00 Overview of SPC and basic concepts
Exercise 1
10:00 Common types of control charts
10:45 Selection, construction, interpretation
Exercise 2
Noon Lunch
Afternoon Session: More Advanced Topics
1:00 Common practical questions
Performance, sample size, updating, others
Exercise 3
3:00 More advanced types of charts
Rare events
Other important types of control charts
4:30 Adjourn


The Healthcare Systems Engineering Institute’s annual Gathering of the Fellows facilitates a cross-disciplinary community where healthcare improvement fellows share project results, learn from each other, and develop intertwined networks. Some good things happen not by design. What we now call the "gathering" started as a year-end meeting of the VA patient safety fellows with our colleague Dr. Bradley Vince Watts, Fellowship Director of the VA National Center for Patient Safety, but has slowly grown into an intermingling of several healthcare improvement communities. Past years have included IHI fellows, healthcare engineering fellows, and others. The common denominator is a focus on healthcare improvement, although methods may differ slightly.

Any healthcare improvement fellows are invited to attend. Day 1 is a sharing day, typically consisting of a mix of presentations, panels, and poster sessions and ending with a plenary and poster reception. Day 2 typically is a learning day, with education and exercises about some unifying theme (past years have included lean, variation, statistical control charts, innovation, and simulation). Attendees can be current or past fellows, and can either participate as attendees or present work as a poster or short presentation.


2014 Gathering of the Fellows 

2016 Gathering of the Fellows