Medicine and Health Care

Topics: Medicine, Healthcare, Systems thinking Pages: 4 (1109 words) Published: April 12, 2013
Lori Rayl
Western Governors University

Relationship between system theory and healthcare delivery in U.S.

Systems theory can be seen as a model for improving quality in the United States (US) healthcare system. Systems theory is based upon systems thinking that relies on the whole system and relationships rather than isolated parts. If the US healthcare system were to adopt a systems theory this could improve healthcare quality and reduce errors.

Despite focus on increasing patient safety in hospitals, medical errors continue to remain high (Petula 2005, p. 6). By adopting the concept of systems theory this could possibly help to reduce medical errors and improve quality of care. By ensuring that the medical teams work as a unit rather than individual members, errors can be reduced and quality improved.

By adopting system theory thinking, the healthcare team visualizes the entire healthcare system as a whole, not just as their portion. Systems theory thinking supports the importance of relationship building to improve quality outcomes and reduce errors. Processes throughout the system are adopted to recognize improving communication subsystems, creating and managing effective teams, supporting collaboration, embracing ongoing education and improving moral through involvement, just to name a few.

Petula cites several magnet hospitals who have applied systems theory to their decision making processes and quality improvement initiatives that have demonstrated quality outcomes, improved teamwork among departments and decreased key medical position vacancies in their institutions (Petula 2005, p. 6). Proving that adopting systems theory has the potential to show marked quality improvement, error reduction and promote health. Chuang also concluded that “there is clear value in developing a theoretical systems approach to achieving quality in health care” (Chuang 2009, p. 54).

Relationship between diffusion of innovation theory and healthcare in...

Bibliography: Chuang, S., & Inder, K. (n.d.). EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. An effectiveness analysis of healthcare systems using a systems theoretic approach. Retrieved December 28, 2012, from
This article describes the value in developing a systems approach to achieving higher quality outcomes in the health care setting. The authors introduced a systematic surveyor based search that creates a control system to optimize health care outcomes.
Hubbard, W., & Sandman, L. (n.d.). Using Diffusion of Innovation Concepts for Improved Program Evaluation. The Journal of Extension ( JOE ) . Retrieved December 28, 2012, from
In this article the authors discuss the diffusion of innovations framework so that the reader can have a better understanding of how planners adopt or reject a particular practice. They go on to explain that through the methods of analysis, the framework guides planner’s decisions. The authors explain that information is vital for understanding the importance on the presented information and the experience of the diffusion of innovation framework. They also report how survey and statistical methods can be adopted to better capture information for development.
Petula, S. (n.d.). Can applying Systems Theory improve Quality Care in Healthcare Systems? Retrieved December 28, 2012, from
This article describes the relationship between the complex healthcare system, health promotion and systems theory. The author focuses on a systems theory framework to support quality improvement initiatives in the healthcare system. The author 's use of discussion, mapping and a review of literature demonstrate that application of a deliberate systems theory that uses an interdisciplinary framework supports a healthcare system with reduced errors, improved quality and improved health.
Schultz, A. (n.d.). Implementation: A Team Effort. EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Retrieved December 28, 2012, from
This article discusses the use of diffusion of innovation theory to implement a planned organizational change while sustaining evidence based practice. The author includes the stages of diffusion of innovation theory to implement the planned change, while discussing the evaluation and support that administrative leaders must provide to support the planned change.
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