Systems Thinking in Healthcare Environment

The current situation in the healthcare environment today is that costs are going up every year and the overall health of the population is getting less healthy year by year. The value proposition is also not there anymore as the ratio of funds spent per person have been increasing for decades.

Further to complicate this story are the factors that further make reducing costs in hospitals very difficult to solve. With new technology coming every year, complex workflows being adapted by the hospitals, increased emphasis on patient satisfaction and a reduced revenue stream from the insurance companies and government, all of such factors add a further burden on the system.

The solution that many organizations follow in solving such problems is that they try to make improvements in all of the areas at once. They do not realize that by improving all the areas all the time will not lead to improvement for the overall organization. What actually happens with such efforts is the fact that all areas start getting busy at all of the times. Work in process also increases at all of the areas and hence various bottlenecks start to appear all across the organization.

The real answer and solution to such a problem is to follow a systems thinking approach. This approach does not try to solve all the problems at the same time, but looks at the overall system and takes into account system thinking approach to problem solving. By utilizing such an approach one focuses on specific problems at first and that leads to other problems and their resolutions.