National Academy of Medicine

Bringing a Systems Approach to Health

By Gary Kaplan, George Bo-Linn, Pascale Carayon, Peter Pronovost, William Rouse, Proctor Reid, Robert Saunders
July 10, 2013 | Discussion Paper

This Discussion Paper, “Bringing a Systems Approach to Health,” illustrates instances in which systems-based interventions have promoted better health at lower cost. Developed by individual participants from the IOM’s Systems Approaches to Improving Health Care Innovation Collaborative, a joint IOM and National Academy of Engineering project, the paper outlines several case studies that not only identify and address adoption barriers, such as the need for culture shifts and substantial leadership support, but also demonstrate the high potential of systems approaches. For instance, the implementation of systems methods across operations at the Virginia Mason Health System, resulted in reduced wait times, safety and patient outcome improvements, as well as cost reduction.



Suggested Citation

Kaplan, G., G. Bo-Linn, P. Carayon, P. Pronovost, W. Rouse, P. Reid, and R. Saunders. 2013. Bringing a Systems Approach to Health. NAM Perspectives. Discussion Paper, National Academy of Medicine, Washington, DC. doi: 10.31478/201307a


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.