In 1996, our President and CEO Eugene Litvak, PhD joined forces with Michael Long, MD (then Deputy Director of the Operating Room at Massachusetts General Hospital) to apply the principles and practices of operations management science in the healthcare delivery setting. This partnership resulted in a breakthrough paper in 2001 about variability in healthcare delivery and and an approach to managing it, leading to the development of the principles that underpin IHO Variability Methodology® services.
In 2000 Drs. Litvak and Long founded the Program for the Management of Variability in Healthcare Delivery (MVP) within the Health Policy Institute at Boston University in order to further develop, apply and disseminate approaches for managing variability in patient flow. Over the course of eight years, MVP advanced the field via research and application of the methodology in a number of healthcare organizations. The success achieved by hospitals implementing IHO recommended patient flow variability management methods led to an increase in demand for education and support services for applying operations management principles.
In response to this growing need and in order to spread the adoption of scientific management approaches in healthcare in a short time, the MVP faculty founded the Institute for Healthcare Optimization in May of 2009.