Designing Systems That Work: Does Healthcare Need A Design Language?

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Alexander Komashie, University of Cambridge

The ultimate goal of healthcare systems is rather straight forward – Better care for all. Modern healthcare delivery, however, involves several processes with complex interactions and often requiring multiple systems. The ultimate care that a patient receives has become hugely dependent on processes and systems that work all the time. However, it is known that systems that work all the time do not just happen – they have to be planned, designed and built. Unlike the engineering sector, design capacity in healthcare is minimal. The challenge, therefore, is how to support healthcare practitioners in designing systems that work with all its human elements and where to start. In this paper we examine the current literature and identify opportunities for a simple diagrammatic language that enables healthcare practitioners to describe care delivery processes and systems in ways that are intuitive, systematic and engender shared understanding.

We reviewed the academic literature from Web of Science and Scopus from 2000 to date. Several search term combinations were used that resulted in 300 papers from Web of Science, 114 from Scopus with 5 duplicates. The entire process involved two levels of filtering, then scanning, sorting, reviewing and analyses.

Date & time

7-8 June 2016

NCTL Learning and Conference Centre, Nottingham

What is a Complex System?

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