The systems view of health care. Felix Tretter at the 11th Conference of the Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies 10-11 July 2015, Athens
The Hellenic Society for Systemic Studies (HSSS) has organized its 11th National & International Conference. The topic oft this year was “Systemics and Health Care”. The conference had a track for representation and discussion of national projects. Several issues were discussed such as Health Care Management, Performance Management, Business Process Modeling or Health Care Consulting.
One of the invited introductory keynote speakers was Prof. Felix Tretter from the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science. In his comprehensive overview he criticized that at present on an international scope health care systems are only analysed from the view point of health economics. He pointed out that health care has to be conceived as a heterogeneous complex multi-level system of humans that work for humans and that for this reason it is a social system, a living system – and not a machine. This view results in other concepts of health care management as they are proposed by mechanistically thinking business and administration concepts. One essential component in the management procedures is the constitution of a descriptive and (consecutive) prescriptive model of the hospital and its processes. This modelling process should be developed by participation of the staff and it corresponds to the well-known topic of the transdisciplinary modelling methodology developed by Gerald Midgley (University of Hull, UK), who unfortunately could not participate in the conference. Important procedures of formation of such mental models were demonstrated in detail by Prof. Kambiz Maani (Massey University, New Zealand). Tretter also showed that the anthropological basis of health care is the existential experience of danger to die and the solidarity with others. This corresponded well with the talk of Prof. Ioannis Kalogerakis (Technical University, Crete) who promoted an “anthropocentric” view on health care and showed that such aspects are not well considered at present health care design and management.
Several workshops were devoted to new initiatives to reorganize and optimize the Greek health care system. Also, a session was held on the issue of “Medical Tourism” that could be a future topic of Greek health economy.
The “Systems View of Health Care” is a focus of future activities of the BCSSS.
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