The BCSSS Lecture Series in Systems Science and Medicine continues with Managing Healthcare Systems

Since the beginning of this year we are organizing a lecture series at Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS, 1040 Vienna, Paulanerg. 13) on the contribution of Systems Science to the understanding of disease in the sense of the emerging “Systems Medicine”. The talks are aimed at researchers and practitioners. This lecture series will be continued in the winter semester. Now at the end of the current summer semester we focus with two lectures on the questions of the benefits of Systems Science in understanding the design and management of relevant processes in healthcare.

Understanding healthcare can not be reduced solely to economic parameters, because health is largely not accurately measurable and psychosocial effects in the therapeutic intervention are difficult to quantify. This circumstance is particularly important for the management of health services at all levels, of the macrosystemic systems at the national level as well as at the meso level of individual organizations, such as hospitals.

A multi-level perspective of systems modeling, as provided by systems research, is necessary for a valild understanding of especially health care processes, according to the American NIH and also supply experts as F.W. Schwartz (former Hannover) or H. Pfaff (Cologne) in Germany.

We want to discuss this perspective, practice-oriented and based in theory. Thus we organize two lectures on Systems Science and Healthcare:

Günther Pichler (Advanced Control Profit Counsulting GmbH, Vienna) presents on Friday, June 19th 2015, 3pm the importance of Controlling in hospital managementSystemic challenges for hospital management:

If a new manager is taking over his job in a hospital he tries to construct  a mental model of the hospital. This is usually quite static and relies strongly on numerical data of costs proceeds and yields.  Also data from quality management are indicators for the functionality of the hospital. An increasing relevance has the field of controlling that is based on cost accounting and is integrated in decisions regarding strategic management. It is data-based and therefore highly connected with the IT culture of the hospital. However, many activities of the staff cannot be monetarized or quantified in another way. In spite of this, hospital manager mainly rely on controlling data. We would like to discuss the role of controlling in the management cycle regarding special issues of  systemic understanding of  organizations such as hospitals.

PD DDr. Guido Strunk (WUWien) demonstrates on Friday, July 3rd 2015, 3pm Thursday, July 2nd 2015, 6pm the benefits of systemic methods in health system analysis – Why is a systemic analysis of health services appropriate?

There are multidisciplinary benefits of systemic methods in analysing and modeling and managing healthcare services. The shortcomings of non-systemic, traditional operational analysis and modeling will be pointed out, on the basis of typical characteristics of healthcare organisations. Using case studies DDr. Strunk develops and explains then a systems perspective on the basis of specific principles of these organisations as “living systems”.

Together with BCSSS Fellow Prof. Dr.Dr.Dr. Felix Tretter the Bertalanffy Center intends to establish a Research Group to investigate the future potentials of Systems Science, Systems Medicine, and Health Care Systems. These open meetings mark unique opportunities for researchers and students from a variety of disciplines and representatives from industry, and from the private and governmental health care and insurance system to connect with us.

If you are interested to join, please, send a message to

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