Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) at Massachusetts General Hospital develops and applies operations research methodologies to redesign and optimize patient care processes to improve quality and efficiency.

In addition to close collaboration with colleagues across Mass General and Mass General Brigham, HSE has a longstanding partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, working closely with students and faculty on operations research projects.

Recent Projects

  • COVID-19 Inpatient Capacity Management—We developed COVID-19 inpatient and procedural census projections for operational leaders at the five largest Mass General Brigham hospitals
  • Bed Reallocation—We built and implemented a model to reduce off-service placements and wait time for general care beds from the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit
  • Discharge Prediction Tool—We continue to develop a machine learning-based tool to identify patients who are likely to be discharged from Mass General within 24-48 hours

Meet the Team

HSE is a team of clinicians, data scientists, and administrators who partner with different groups across Mass General Mass General Brigham to develop and execute operations research projects.

Man in suit smiling on gray background

Peter Dunn, MD

Dr. Peter Dunn currently serves as vice president of Procedural Services, Healthcare Systems Engineering, Capacity Management, and Emergency Department. Dr. Dunn co-leads all aspects of perioperative operations with the associate chief nurse for perioperative services. Prior to this role, he was the clinical director and served as executive vice chair of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. Dr. Dunn joined Mass General in 1995, where he received his training in both anesthesia and critical care.

Woman wearing blue shirt and red glasses smiling on light gray background Bethany Daily, MHA

Bethany Daily is the executive director of Perioperative Services and Healthcare Systems Engineering at Mass General. Her responsibilities include the strategic direction of information systems, statistical and financial reporting, process improvement, human resources management, and facilities planning. She is also the program director for the Mass General-MIT collaboration. Bethany received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her Master of Healthcare Administration at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Kyan Safavi, MD, MBA

Dr. Kyan Safavi is medical director of Healthcare Systems Engineering and a faculty member of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Mass General. He was previously the David F. Torchiana Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Management for the Mass General Physicians Organization (MGPO). Along with colleagues at Mass General and MIT, he has led projects focused on capacity management for the hospital. He received his undergraduate degree, MD, and MBA from Yale University. Dr. Safavi completed his anesthesia residency and critical care fellowship at Mass General.

Woman with short hair and arms crossed, smiling Cecilia Zenteno, PhD

Dr. Cecilia Zenteno is director of Data and Analytics for Healthcare Systems Engineering and Perioperative Services at Mass General. Cecilia’s responsibilities include data analysis, mentoring students and fellows of the Mass General-MIT collaboration, and executing initiatives together with all levels of healthcare providers and administrators. Cecilia received her PhD in Operations Research from Columbia University and worked as post-doctoral fellow for the Mass General-MIT collaboration for two years before joining Mass General full time in 2014.

Man with glasses wearing suit smiling in front of city backdrop Martin Copenhaver, PhD

Dr. Martin Copenhaver is a senior clinical data scientist for the Healthcare Systems Engineering team. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of optimization and statistics, especially with applications in healthcare operations management. Martin completed his PhD in Operations Research at MIT's Operations Research Center (advised by Dimitris Bertsimas) and his BS in applied mathematics at Georgia Tech.

Man in red sweater smiling outside in front of trees and building Michael Hu, PhD

Michael Hu is an operations research scientist for the Healthcare Systems Engineering team. His research interests lie broadly in mathematical optimization, especially applied to the domain of healthcare operations. Prior to joining Mass General, Michael received his PhD in Operations Research from MIT (advised by Retsef Levi) and dual undergraduate degrees in Pure Mathematics and Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Man in suit wearing glasses on light gray background Retsef Levi, PhD

Dr. Retsef Levi is the J. Spencer Standish (1945) Professor of Operations Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is a member of the Operations Management Group at MIT Sloan and affiliated with the MIT Operations Research Center. Dr. Levi also serves as the faculty co-director of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO). Dr. Levi's current research is focused on the design of data-driven decision support models and tools to address complex decisions in areas such as healthcare, supply chain, procurement and inventory management, revenue management, pricing optimization, and logistics. He regularly teaches courses on operations management, analytics, risk management, system thinking, and healthcare at MIT.

The HSE team collaborates with Professor Levi to work with PhD students and postdoctoral fellows at MIT. These students and fellows work on complex operations research projects with Mass General, immersing themselves in the Mass General landscape for major projects over a period of two years.


Hu, M., Copenhaver, M., Zenteno, A.C., Koehler, A., Daily, B., Levine, W.C., Dunn, P.F. and Safavi, K.C., 2021. Design and Performance of a COVID-19 Hospital Recovery Model. Annals of Surgery Open, 2(2), p.e067.

Safavi, K.C., Prestipino, A.L., Zenteno, A.C., Copenhaver, M., Hu, M., Daily, B., Koehler, A., Biddinger, P.D. and Dunn, P.F., 2021. The power of modeling in emergency preparedness for COVID-19: a moonshot moment for hospitals. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, pp.1-10.

Safavi, K.C., Khaniyev, T., Copenhaver, M., Seelen, M., Zenteno, A.C.Z., Zanger, J., Daily, B., Levi, R. and Dunn, P., 2019. Development and validation of a machine learning model to aid discharge processes for inpatient surgical care. JAMA network open, 2(12), pp.e1917221-e1917221.

Copenhaver, M.S., Hu, M., Levi, R., Safavi, K. and Zenteno Langle, A.C., 2019. Health System Innovation: Analytics in Action. In Operations Research & Management Science in the Age of Analytics (pp. 238-266). INFORMS.

Safavi KC, Furtado J, Zenteno AC, Scheinker D, Schmidt U, Levi R, Dunn PF. Non-clinical delays in transfer out of the surgical ICU are associated with increased hospital length of stay and delayed progress of care. Journal of Critical Care. 2018; 50: 126-31. 

Ghobadhi K, Zenteno AC, Marshall AR, Dunn PF, Levi R, Stone JH. Translating a Biologic Revolution into an Organizational Overhaul. NEJM Catalyst. 2017. ePub.

Zenteno AC, Carnes T, Levi R, Daily BJ, Dunn PF. Systematic OR Block Allocation in Large Academic Medical Centers. Annals of Surgery. 2016; 264(6): 973-981

Zenteno AC, Carnes T, Levi R, Daily BJ, Price D, Moss SC, Dunn PF. Pooled Open Blocks Shorten Wait Times for Non-Elective Surgical Cases. Annals of Surgery. 2015; 262(1): 60-67.

Segev D, Levi R, Dunn PF, Sandberg W. Modeling the Impact of Changing Patient Transportation System on Perioperative Process Performance in a Large Hospital: Insights from a Computer Simulation Study. Healthcare Management. 2012; 15 (2): 155-169.

Seger RF, Dunn PF, Prestipino AL, McDougal WS. Multidisciplinary team streamlines hospital schedules, patient care. MGMA Connex. 2010 Aug; 10(7): 46-9.

Schoenmeyr T, Dunn PF, Gamarnik D, Levi R, Berger DL, Daily BJ, Levine WC, Sandberg WS. A model for understanding the impacts of demand and capacity on waiting time to enter a congested recovery room. Anesthesiology. 2009 Jun; 110(6): 1293-304.