"A Prescription for the Mess in Healthcare," by Gerrit Van Wyk. ISBN 978-1-60264-762-6 (Ebook). $9.95. 262 pages.
The reason we are making no progress in solving the problems of health care is that we are stuck in the wrong paradigm. We can either plan by only paying attention to isolated parts of the problem, as we currently do, or we can include as many aspects as possible, which requires a change in how we think about the world. Systems Thinking is the only discipline that includes all aspects of a problem in planning.
This book specifically deals with some of the more important aspects of the health care system and the ways they are dysfunctional. Examples are the assumptions we make about health care and how it works, the complexity of the medical consultation as a socio-cultural event, the use of industrial quality principles to reduce inefficiency, waste and cost, the design of health care Information Systems, and so on.
No strategic plan can be implemented without overcoming barriers to change. The barriers in health care are particularly high and strong leadership will be critical to overcome them. The absence of leadership, vested interests, the lack of Information Systems, and apathy may all conspire to make a Systems solution to the health care problem fail. That would be a pity and great opportunity lost.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gerrit Van Wyk is one of a unique group of people with a postgraduate education in Systems Thinking. The Systems Approach is a powerful way of looking at complex social problems across several disciplines by taking a big picture perspective. That opens up new ways of looking at such problems and for finding novel solutions to them.
He has 25 years experience in health care as a physician, which triggered his passion to transform this particularly complex social and poorly functioning system. He has given presentations to technical and lay audiences on many occasions on his passion for implementable change in health care systems, and in order to gain a better understanding of management issues in health care also completed an MBA.
He is married to Debbie and currently works and lives in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.