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Embracing Complexity in Health: Leadership and Policy Making in a Complicated System

Health care is often described as a “complex system”, but what does that really mean? A simple system has few parts, a straightforward process, and a predictable output. A complex system, on the other hand, has numerous sub-systems full of diverse elements that interact, self-organize, and adapt. Indeed, the health care system is continuously moving and adapting at all levels: from provincial health planning to physicians providing patient services.

Researchers are turning to complexity thinking to understand health systems. Instead of simplifying health system challenges, experts turn to complexity theory to understand how and why individuals, organizations, and systems behave in certain ways.

But what about beyond research?

Implementing change and reducing costs in health organizations may not be as straightforward as health managers and policymakers think. So, how can we implement new initiatives effectively in such an unpredictable system? Can complexity thinking help us achieve real transformation?

To address some of these questions, the Telfer School of Management will be hosting Embracing Complexity in Health: Leadership and Policy Making in a Complicated System on September 11th at 5:00 pm. This Telfer Forum will bring together health leaders and academics to discuss the value of using complexity thinking in policy- and decision-making in the health sector.

Panelists Agnes Grudniewicz (Assistant Professor, Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa), Robert Geyer (Professor, Lancaster University), Jenna Evans (Staff Scientist, Planning and Regional Programs, Cancer Care Ontario) and Akos Hoffer (CEO, The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre), as well as moderator Lysanne Lessard (Assistant Professor, Telfer School, University of Ottawa), will set the stage for a discussion on change in the context of our complex health systems.

This Telfer Forum will be a great learning and networking opportunity for professionals in health services, management, and policy. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Location: Telfer School of Management, Ottawa, room DMS12102, 55 Laurier Avenue East

Time: 5:00 to 7:00 pm

For event details and to RSVP, please click.