Rethinking health systems strengthening: key systems thinking tools and strategies for transformational change.

TitleRethinking health systems strengthening: key systems thinking tools and strategies for transformational change.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsR Swanson C, Cattaneo A, Bradley E, Chunharas S, Atun R, Abbas KM, Katsaliaki K, Mustafee N, Meier BMason, Best A
JournalHealth Policy Plan
Volume27 Suppl 4
Date Published2012 Oct
KeywordsDelivery of Health Care, Developing Countries, Efficiency, Organizational, Health Education, Health Policy, Health Resources, Health Services Research, Interdisciplinary Communication, Leadership, Learning, Organizational Innovation, Thinking, World Health

While reaching consensus on future plans to address current global health challenges is far from easy, there is broad agreement that reductionist approaches that suggest a limited set of targeted interventions to improve health around the world are inadequate. We argue that a comprehensive systems perspective should guide health practice, education, research and policy. We propose key 'systems thinking' tools and strategies that have the potential for transformational change in health systems. Three overarching themes span these tools and strategies: collaboration across disciplines, sectors and organizations; ongoing, iterative learning; and transformational leadership. The proposed tools and strategies in this paper can be applied, in varying degrees, to every organization within health systems, from families and communities to national ministries of health. While our categorization is necessarily incomplete, this initial effort will provide a valuable contribution to the health systems strengthening debate, as the need for a more systemic, rigorous perspective in health has never been greater.

Alternate JournalHealth Policy Plan
PubMed ID23014154
PubMed Central IDPMC3529625
Grant List5U54GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
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