The Institute for Healthcare Optimization (IHO) is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) research, education and service organization focused on bringing the science and practice of operations management to healthcare delivery. The Institute grew out of the work of Boston University’s Program for the Management of Variability in Health Care Delivery (MVP) where we originally developed our approach for managing flow variability. Our approach has been successfully applied by many healthcare organizations to simultaneously reduce cost and improve quality of care, contradicting the notion that improving quality and cost of health care has to involve trade-offs. Download our brochure here »


The mission of the Institute is to serve as a catalyst and to provide a vehicle for spreading the application of operations management and patient flow variability management techniques across the broader hospital community, as well as other parts of the health care delivery system. Greater adoption of scientific management practices would have a significant positive impact nationally on the compelling issues of access, quality, and cost of care.


The Institute brings together knowledge of operations science with clinical, analytic, and organizational expertise to drive practical, high-impact improvements in healthcare. The Institute’s activities reflect a multipronged approach focused on:

  • Developing tools and guidance that hospitals and outpatient clinics can use to implement improvements
  • Educating and training health care personnel on theory and application of scientific management methodologies
  • Disseminating knowledge on successful application efforts
  • Targeting demonstration projects with individual hospitals and health care systems whose leadership role and reputation would encourage adoption by the industry

A longer term goal of the Institute is to apply these methodologies in other health care delivery settings, such as non-acute care hospitals, clinics, primary and specialty-care practices and emergency medical services, all of which have similar challenges of managing patient demand for services.