Systems modelling to support the complex nature of healthcare services
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHealth and Technology, 2021, 17 (7), 193-209 10.1007/s12553-020-00504-8
Healthcare is a service commonly associated with lacking performance in relation to output and the economy of production. Contingency theory and complex systems thinking are approaches here combined to study the logistics of healthcare service fows. Contingency theory directs attention to networked interdependencies while complex systems thinking concerns process emergence and fexible resource use in supporting logistics. This hybrid form of analysis gives conceptual direction to information technology development and use to support the logistics of healthcare services. Three small examples of healthcare service as logistics processes in their as-is state are provided and analysed based on the developed analytical framework. These illustrate in detail what exemplifes complexity in this industry. Given the inherently complex nature of many types of healthcare services, this discussion concerns how to conceptually model information systems in healthcare services as a complex system. This chosen complexity-sensitive approach of service logistics constitutes a basis for information technology enabled healthcare service development sensitive to this type of service provision directing focus to the emergent features of healthcare service needs. It is also a basis for further investigation into this topic of information technology use to support the inherent logistical complexity of healthcare services.