Handbook of Systems and Complexity in Health

pp 879-887


Opportunities in Delivery of Preventive Services in Retail Settings

  • Yaneer Bar-YamAffiliated withNew England Complex Systems Institute Email author 
  • , Dion HarmonAffiliated withNew England Complex Systems InstituteTwo Sigma Investments, LLC
  • , Keith NesbittAffiliated withNew England Complex Systems InstituteSchool of Design, Communication & Information Technology, University of Newcastle
  • , May LimAffiliated withNew England Complex Systems InstituteUniversity of the Philippines
  • , Suzanne SmithAffiliated withNew England Complex Systems InstituteSpeech Technology and Applied Research Corp.
  • , Bradley A. PerkinsAffiliated withCenters for Disease Control and PreventionVanguard Health Systems

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Improving the US healthcare system requires not only providing care to the uninsured but also addressing a set of linked organizational and motivational issues, including enhancing the role of wellness and prevention. It is widely acknowledged that system organization is key to healthcare improvement [1]. Previous studies [2, 3] have pointed to separating wellness and prevention services from acute care as a central component of healthcare transformation. Even while chronic and preventable diseases have become the dominant cause of loss of life, incentives and perceptions limit the delivery of services that could prevent them [2]. A complex systems analysis implies that the optimal organizational structure depends critically on the scale of repetition and complexity of tasks to be performed. Applied to health care, the separation of acute care from selected preventive services should enable improved matching of organizational structure to function [3–5].