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We discuss the impact of complexity science on the design and management of health care organizations over the past decade. We provide an overview of complexity science…
We discuss the impact of complexity science on the design and management of health care organizations over the past decade. We provide an overview of complexity science issues and their impact on thinking about health care systems, particularly with the rising importance of information systems. We also present a complexity science perspective on current issues in today’s health care organizations and suggest ways that this perspective might help in approaching these issues.
We review selected research, focusing on work in which we participated, to identify specific examples of applications of complexity science. We then take a look at information systems in health care organizations from a complexity viewpoint.
Complexity science is a fundamentally different way of understanding nature and has influenced the thinking of scholars and practitioners as they have attempted to understand health care organizations. Many scholars study health care organizations as complex adaptive systems and through this perspective develop new management strategies. Most important, perhaps, is the understanding that attention to relationships and interdependencies is critical for developing effective management strategies.
Research and practice implications
Increased understanding of complexity science can enhance the ability of researchers and practitioners to develop new ways of understanding and improving health care organizations.
This analysis opens new vistas for scholars and practitioners attempting to understand health care organizations as complex adaptive systems. The analysis holds value for those already familiar with this approach as well as those who may not be as familiar.
In this commentary, I highlight a few of the assertions made by McDaniel et al. (2013) about the importance of complexity science guided management practices, and extend…
In this commentary, I highlight a few of the assertions made by McDaniel et al. (2013) about the importance of complexity science guided management practices, and extend these ideas specifically to how we might think about reducing seemingly intractable problems in health care such as patient safety, patient falls, hospital acquired infection, and the rise of chronic illness and obesity. I suggest that such changes will require managers and providers to view health care organizations and patients as complex adaptive systems and include patients as full participants in co-producing their health care.
Service ecosystems are gaining credence among management scholars. However, there is still little agreement about the distinguishing attributes of service ecosystems in…
Service ecosystems are gaining credence among management scholars. However, there is still little agreement about the distinguishing attributes of service ecosystems in both the public and the private sectors. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the health care service system, suggesting a “recipe” for the implementation of a sustainable and innovative health care service ecosystem.
A mixed methodology was used. First, a critical literature review was conducted to lay the conceptual foundations of this study. Then a theory about the institutional, organizational and managerial requisites for the implementation of a health care service ecosystem was developed.
The health care sector is appropriate for the core tenets of the service ecosystem perspective. Tailored interventions aimed at improving the functioning of the health care service ecosystem should be implemented at the micro, meso, macro and mega levels. Patient empowerment, patient-centered care and integrated care are the fundamental ingredients of the recipe for effective health care service ecosystems.
The ecosystem approach provides health policy makers with interesting insights to help shape the health care service system of the future. The paper also contributes to the innovation of managerial practices emphasizing the role of patient involvement in the design and delivery of health care.
This is one of the first attempts to systematize scientific knowledge about service ecosystems in the health care sector. An agenda for further research is suggested, in order to further advance the establishment of an effective and innovative health care service ecosystem.