In a joint effort between the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, this books attempts to bridge the knowledge/awareness divide separating health care professionals from their potential partners in systems engineering and related disciplines. The goal of this partnership is to transform the U.S. health care sector from an underperforming conglomerate of independent entities (individual practitioners, small group practices, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers et. al.) into a high performance "system" in which every participating unit recognizes its dependence and influence on every other unit. By providing both a framework and action plan for a systems approach to health care delivery based on a partnership between engineers and health care professionals, Building a Better Delivery System describes opportunities and challenges to harness the power of systems-engineering tools, information technologies and complementary knowledge in social sciences, cognitive sciences and business/management to advance the U.S. health care system.