Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Health Care in the United States, System Dynamics Applications to

  • Gary B. HirschEmail author
  • Jack Homer
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_270-3


Chronic illness

A disease or adverse health state that persists over time and cannot in general be cured, although its symptoms may be treatable.

Feedback loop

A closed loop of causality that acts to counterbalance or reinforce prior change in a system state.


A rate-of-change variable affecting a stock, such as births flowing into a population or deaths flowing out.


An accumulation or state variable, such as the size of a population.

Definition of the Subject

Healthcare involves a complex system of interactions among patients, providers, payers, and other stakeholders. This system is difficult to manage in the United States because of its free market approach and relative lack of regulation. System dynamics (SD) simulation modeling is an effective method for understanding and explaining causes of dysfunction in US healthcare and for suggesting approaches to improving health outcomes and slowing rising costs. Applications since the 1970s have covered diverse areas in...


Secondhand Smoke Health System Reform Local Health System Adverse Behavior Ethnic Health Disparity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Creator of Learning EnvironmentsWaylandUSA
  2. 2.Homer ConsultingNew YorkUSA