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Selecting a change and evaluating its impact on the performance of a complex adaptive health care delivery system

Authors Malaz Boustani M, Munger S, Gulati R, Vogel M, Beck RA, Callahan CM

Published 5 May 2010 Volume 2010:5 Pages 141—148

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S9922

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Malaz A Boustani1,2,3,4, Stephanie Munger1,2, Rajesh Gulati3,4, Mickey Vogel4, Robin A Beck3,4, Christopher M Callahan1,2,3,4

1Indiana University Center for Aging Research, 2Regenstrief Institute Inc., 3Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, 4Indiana University Medical Group-Primary Care; Indianapolis, IN USA

Abstract: Complexity science suggests that our current health care delivery system acts as a complex adaptive system (CAS). Such systems represent a dynamic and flexible network of individuals who can coevolve with their ever changing environment. The CAS performance fluctuates and its members’ interactions continuously change over time in response to the stress generated by its surrounding environment. This paper will review the challenges of intervening and introducing a planned change into a complex adaptive health care delivery system. We explore the role of the “reflective adaptive process” in developing delivery interventions and suggest different evaluation methodologies to study the impact of such interventions on the performance of the entire system. We finally describe the implementation of a new program, the Aging Brain Care Medical Home as a case study of our proposed evaluation process.

Keywords: complexity, aging brain, implementation, complex adaptive system, sustained change, care delivery

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