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21 DePaul J. Health Care L. 1 (2019-2020)

handle is hein.journals/dephcl21 and id is 1 raw text is: 




        A  Systems  Thinking Approach   to Health Care Reform   in the United States

                           P. Greg Gulick, Jr.*, JD, MHA,  MBA
                                     Adjunct  Professor
    Health Management Program, Michigan State University Broad College of Business
                         Michigan  State University College of Law

 To the extent we can even refer to an American healthcare system, it functions brilliantly ...
                                     to make  money.-a

Introduction

It is common  to use the term system to describe a series of parts working together to serve a
purpose or achieve a particular goal. A computer system can be components of a single computer
(hardware  and software, working  together) or a number of interconnected computers  sharing
software or networks.  A combustion  engine is also a system of interconnected parts working
together to generate the power necessary to propel an automobile. Systems are often thought of
as linear in nature with unidirectional causation; thus, Component A affects Component B which
affects Component  C which produces a predictable output or result. This type of system is often
described as a machine,  which is made  up of perfectly-designed parts working together to
achieve a particular output.' The phrase working together as a well-oiled machine is often used
to describe a system of people (a department in a company  or a sports-team) functioning well
together towards a common  goal.


The term system is also used in the context of health care, referring to health systems both on a
micro, or delivery-level, such as a health system consisting of hospitals, physicians practices, and
laboratories and a macro, or national-level, such as a health system consisting of a financing
mechanism,  such as the government, a delivery mechanism, such as different types of providers,





* Practicing healthcare attorney, telemedicine consultant, and Adjunct Professor at Michigan State University,
Broad College of Business, Program in Healthcare Management and Michigan State University College of
Law. The author would like to thank his daughters, Maya and Stella, and his wife, Carola, for their support and
inspiration.
a Ali S. Khan, Witch Doctors, Zombies, and Oracles: Rethinking Health in America, 28 HEALTH MATRIx 79 (2018).
' James W. Begun et al., Health Care Organizations as Complex Adaptive Systems, ADVANCES IN HEATH CARE
ORGANIZATION THEORY 253, 253 (S.M. Mick and M. Wyttenbach eds., 2003).


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