Rationale, aims and objectives. Applying traditional industrial Quality Improvement (QI) methodologies to primary care is often inappropriate because primary care is best thought of as a network of highly interconnected agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS) that is particularly responsive to bottom-up rather than top-down management approaches. We report on a demonstration case study of improvements made in the Family Health Center (FHC) of the JPS Health Network in a refugee patient population that illustrate features of QI in a CAS framework as opposed to a traditional QI approach. Methods. We report on changes in health system utilization by new refugee patients of the FHC from 2016-2017 and summarize relevant theoretical understandings of quality management in complex adaptive systems. Results. Applying CAS principles in the FHC, utilization of the Emergency Department and Urgent Care by newly arrived refugee patients before their first clinic visit was reduced by more than half (total visits decreased from 31% to 14% of the refugee patients). Our review of the literature demonstrates that traditional top-down QI processes are most often unsuccessful in improving even a few single-disease metrics, and increases clinician burnout and penalizes clinicians who care for vulnerable patients. Improvement in a CAS occurs when front-line clinicians identify care gaps and are given the flexibility to learn and self-organize to enable new care processes to emerge, which are created from bottom-up leadership that utilize existing interdependencies made more sustainable as front-line clinicians use sensemaking to improve care processes. Conclusions and future directions. Recent reforms announced in primary care in Scotland, a few examples in the medical literature, and statements from some healthcare system leaders are examples of early adapters who are applying the principles of CAS to their QI efforts. Such initiatives and our example provide models for others to follow.
The onset of acute illness may be accompanied by a profound sense of disorientation for patients. Addressing this vulnerability is a key part of a physician’s purview, yet well-intended efforts to do so may be impeded by myriad competing tasks in clinical practice. Resolving this dilemma goes beyond appealing to altruism, as its limitless demands may lead to physician burnout, disillusionment, and a narrowed focus on the biomedical aspects of care in the interest of self-preservation. The authors propose an ethic of hospitality that may better guide physicians in attending to the comprehensive needs of patients that have entered “the kingdom of the sick”. Using philosophical methods, the authors explore what compels people to present to emergent medical attention and why altruism may not offer physicians a sustainable way to address the vulnerabilities that occur in such situations. They then present the concept of hospitality from a Derridean perspective and use it to interpret a narrative case of an on-call paediatrician caring for an infant with bronchiolitis to demonstrate how this approach may be practically implemented in the acute care hospital context. Hospitality allows physicians to acknowledge that clinical presentations that are routine in their world may be disorienting and frightening to patients experiencing them acutely. Further, it recognizes that the vulnerability that accompanies acute illness may be compounded by the unfamiliarity of the hospital environment in which patients have sought support. While it is unlikely that anything physicians do will make the hospital a place where patients and caregivers will desire to be, hospitality may focus their efforts upon making it less unwelcoming. Specifically, it offers an orientation that supports patients in navigating the disorienting and unfamiliar terrains of acute illness, the hospital setting in which help is sought, and engagement with the health care system writ large.
Academic journal publication is the currency of University faculty. It can go without saying that publications play an important role in securing an academic appointment and research grants, achieving promotion within the University, and more importantly, advancing knowledge, which is to me the primary purpose of any academic pursuit. Despite its importance, academics seem to receive little or no formal training in how to prepare a manuscript for publication or how to respond to reviewer criticism1. Quite often, such skills are acquired through mentorship during graduate training. Unfortunately, it is often the case that graduate students do not produce enough manuscripts during their training to develop expertise in how to translate completed research or scholarship into a published report. As an editor, I often see manuscripts that are diminished by how they are written, which often causes confusion in the reviewer, resulting in a recommendation for rejection. I do not profess to be an expert on writing for an academic audience. I have no idea exactly how I learned to get my work published (I assume it was through practice and good mentorship), nor do I have any idea if I am skilled at it – I am left to assume my level of expertise from my successes and failures. However, from reading several manuscripts each day, I have picked up on some common errors and have developed an appreciation for what editors and reviewers expect in a published manuscript. In what follows, I present a bit of what I have learned in my, albeit it short, time as an editor.2
Rationale, aims and objectives The article looks at how, during consultations, pregnant women identified as presenting an increased risk of giving birth to a child with an impairment, and practitioners in the field of prenatal diagnosis, decide whether or not to accept the risk of a miscarriage and proceed with a diagnostic examination. Methods We conducted 63 observations of consultations in France and 22 in England. Participants were women for whom an elevated risk of abnormality had been identified and the practitioners involved in their care. Our analytical approach consisted in suspending the normative concepts of non-directiveness and autonomy, and in drawing on Goffman’s (1974) notion of “frame” to take account of the experiential and structural aspects that the protagonists bring into the (inter)actions. Results We identified four frames: medico-scientific expertise, medical authority, religious authority and compassion. Observation of the ways in which the frames intertwine during consultations revealed configurations that facilitate or hinder the fluidity of the interactions and the decision-making process. The medico-scientific expertise frame, imposed by the guidelines, heavily dominated our observations, but frequently caused distress and misunderstanding. Temporary or sustained use of the compassion and/or medical authority frames could help to repair the discussion and create the conditions that enable women/couples to reach a decision. Variations in configuration highlighted the differences between practitioners in the two countries. Conclusions Combining frames allows protagonists to exert reflective abilities and to maintain/restore interactions. The frame analysis promotes a vision of autonomy that is sociological, relational and processual rather than philosophical. The frames are anchored in different structural conditions in England and France.
In the United States chronic illnesses have become a way of life for multiple generations – they are the number one cause of death and disability (accounting for more than 70% of deaths), 60% of American adults have at least one chronic disease, and 40% have multiple chronic conditions. Although multiple factors contribute to the growth in chronic disease prevalence, a major factor has been overreliance on health care systems for promoting health and preventing disease. Large health care systems are ill equipped for this role since they are designed to detect, treat, and manage disease, not to promote health or address the underlying causes of disease. Improving health outcomes in the U.S. will require implementing broad-based prevention strategies combining biological, behavioral, and societal variables that move beyond clinical care. According to community medicine, clinical care alone cannot create, support, or maintain health. Rather, health can only ensue from combining clinical care with epidemiology and community organization, because health is a social outcome resulting from a combination of clinical science, collective responsibility, and informed social action. During the past 20 years, our team has developed an operational community medicine approach known as community health science. Our model provides a simple framework for integrating clinical care, population health, and community organization, using community-based participatory research (CBPR) practices for developing place-based initiatives. In the present paper, we present a brief overview of the model and describe its evolution, applications, and outcomes in two major urban environments. The paper demonstrates means for integrating the social determinants of health into collaborative place-based approaches, for aligning community assets and reducing health disparities. We conclude by discussing how asset-based community development can promote social connectivity and improve health, and discuss how our approach reflects the emerging national consensus on the importance of place-based population system change.
Rationale, aims and objectives The main purpose of this paper is to measure the efficiency and ranking of medical diagnostic laboratories by applying a Network Data Envelopment Analysis. Methods In this study, each medical diagnostic laboratory is considered as a decision making unit (DMU) and a network data envelopment analysis (NDEA) model is utilized to calculate the efficiency of each medical diagnostic laboratory. Therefore, we design a series four-stage system composed of three main laboratory processes (the pre-test process, the test process and the post-test process). We also consider sustainability criteria in order to cover social, economic, and environmental problems of health care organizations. Results The results show that three of the 22 considered laboratories are efficient. Therefore, the network DEA approach can lead to performance scores and ultimately real ranking. Also, the average efficiency scores show that the decrease of the reception unit’s efficiency results in a decrease of the efficiency of each laboratory. Therefore, the laboratories can increase the number of patients. Along with the intermediate values of the reception unit and the sampling unit, the efficiency of the reception unit increases, which results in an increase for the overall efficiency of each laboratory. Conclusion The proposed model can appropriately help the administrators and managers to identify inefficient units in their laboratory and ultimately improve the laboratory performance.
Rationale, aims and objectives Creating networked business models is one of the innovative approaches that have the ability and potential for meeting market needs. The purpose of this study is to provide a decision making model for a fair profit sharing among the members of a diagnostic laboratory network while providing a distinctive value for the patients. Methods To identify the members of the network of laboratories, a suitable approach to calculate members’ efficiency scores is proposed. Then, the network members are classified into three groups based on their performance scores. The three groups help administrators identify eligible members, members who need to improve their performance in order to meet the minimum requirements, and members who do not qualify for admission to the network. Since the performance of the members should play a significant role in the fair profit sharing mechanism, the fair allocation of profits among network members is done by the use of Shapely’s value based on the efficiency scores of members. Results The results show that for such a fair mechanism, the efficiency and sample size (the number of samples (blood, urine) taken from the patients by the laboratories), as the two effective factors, have a decisive role in the share of profit of laboratory units of the network. In the Laboratory Services Network, members receive a number of samples according to their performance. As a result, the sample size received has a direct impact on the net income of each member. Conclusion In conclusion, it is evident that the use of Shapely value may help managers in the process of sharing profits among network members in a fair way, thereby improving network performance. In this way, incentive strategies may be created for the members of the network and long-term survival of the network may be achieved.