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AU Dynamic Complexity in Healthcare Organizations Essay

AU Dynamic Complexity in Healthcare Organizations Essay



Describe how the following example illustrates one or more of the system characteristics that contribute to dynamic complexity.

Example: Medical Associates is a for-profit medical group of 40 physicians that operates two facilities and offers services in several medical specialties, including cardiology; ear, nose, and throat; family medicine; gastroenterology; general surgery; pediatrics; and obstetrics and gynecology. Medical Associates is open six days a week in each location from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm. Plans are being developed to extend its hours to 9:00 pm two days a week. For several years, Medical Associates discounted its listed fees by 3 percent to 5 percent for its managed care contracts, but a few years ago, it had to accept larger discounts to remain in the networks of health plans. Lower reimbursements led

Medical Associates to change its staffing from relying solely on registered nurses (RNs) to hiring medical assistants (MAs) as well. Currently, all physicians assigned to primary care service are assigned one RN or MA to assist with patient care. Physicians assigned to surgery are assigned one RN for every two physicians. As RNs retire or reassign, they have been replaced with MAs. On five recent occasions, when an RN assigned to a senior physician resigned, the senior physician demanded that the RN assigned to a junior physician be reassigned to him and that a new MA be hired to fill the vacancy with the junior physician. This ad hoc system of job switching has caused internal turmoil between the senior and junior physicians and has led to the subsequent resignation of two RNs who did not want to be reassigned…. Confusion exists around staff reporting relationships and who has the authority to change job assignments. (Seidel and Lewis 2014, 215)

Companion Readings

Anderson, A. 2014. “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on the Health Care Workforce.” The Heritage Foundation. Published March 18.

Coutou, D. L. 2003. “Sense and Reliability: A Conversation with Celebrated Psychologist Karl E. Weick.” Harvard Business Review 81 (4): 84–90.

Lipsitz, L. A. 2012. “Understanding Health Care as a Complex System: The Foundation for Unintended Consequences.” Journal of the American Medical Association 308 (3): 243–44.

Nelson, E. C., M. Godfrey, P. B. Batalden, S. A. Berry, A. E. Bothe, K. E. McKinley, C. N. Melin, S. E. Muething, G. Moore, J. H. Wasson, and T. W. Nolan. 2008. “Clinical Microsystems, Part 1: The Building Blocks of Health Systems.” The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Published July.

New England Complex System Institute. 2016. “About Complex Systems.” Accessed November 8.

Peters, D. H. 2014. “The Application of Systems Thinking in Health: Why Use Systems Thinking?” Health Research Policy and Systems. Published August.

Senge, P. M. 1990. “The Leader’s New Work: Building Learning Organizations.” Sloan Management Review (Fall): 149–65.

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