The Complex Systems Research Stream is part of the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation.
Healthcare is increasingly recognised as a complex adaptive system, comprised of multiple levels of interacting agents, including diverse organisations (e.g., hospitals, not-for-profits, governments, professional bodies), groups (e.g., medical teams, online patient communities) and individuals (e.g., doctor, nurse, patient, carer, pharmacist). All of this interconnection leads to nonlinearity, making understanding, influencing and improving the healthcare system a challenge of the greatest magnitude. For example, complexity science highlights the importance of local context, such that an intervention that works in one hospital might show little improvement or might not even be adopted in another. Furthermore, feedback loops within complex systems mean that changes may not be sustained, as their effects become self-correcting (negative feedback); alternatively, a small perturbation in one part of system, for example a doctor failing to wash their hands, may have repercussion across the entire network, such as causing frustration among their team, patient infection, culminating in a national scandal.
While such complexity belies easy prediction, our research focuses on ways to understand this complex system, with the goal of improving healthcare. We look at the links and disconnects of agents in a complex system through social network analysis which can highlight common phenomena such as silos. We also find ways to make sense of this complexity through qualitative methods, such as observation, ethnography, and quantitative analysis, in particular utilising “Big Data”. In addition, we are interested in understanding and making use of feedback for the purposes of healthcare improvement.
"Implementing Genomics into Clinical Care"—Presentation by Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite to The Genomics in Australian Healthcare: Foundations to Future Conference. 5 September 2019
CHRIS WORKING PAPER #102 Leveraging complexity features in Genomic Implementation
CHRIS WORKING PAPER #106 Where the Rubber Meets the Road: A Learning Health Care System for Australia: A Working Paper Providing a Synthesis of Ideas Drawn from Selected Literature Braithwaite J, Boyling C, Warwick M, Smith K-L, Zurynski Y, Hibbert P
More Complexity Science papers by Professor Braithwaite.
Selected stream projects
Centres related to this research
Content owner: Australian Institute of Health Innovation Last updated: 12 May 2020 11:21am