System’s Theory Approach

System’s Theory Approach

The systems approach is widely used in the healthcare setup to show the interrelationship between one department and the other. The approach is guided by the systems theory developed by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in the 1940s and further developed by Ross Ashby in 1964 (Marquis and Huston, 2017). The systems theory provides information that is relevant to the understanding and analyzing the state of many organizations. According to Ludwig, an organization is viewed as an organism made up of many parts or subsystems that must work together in harmony. An organization is made up of departments, business units, individual employees and facilities used to run the unit. The subsystems must work together to foster the growth of the organization through several ways. I work in the emergency department in Mayo Clinic, and the systems approach is used in the departmental management.

The systems theory uses basic elements that describe the activities that take place in the department. The first component of the systems theory is the input. It describes the maintenance and production imports that are used to sustain and propel the department. The healthcare workers and the patients can be viewed as the inputs into the emergency system. The input also refers to the financial support provided to run the department as well as the time spent to offer services to the patients (Marquis and Huston, 2017). The throughput component represents the process used by the department to convert the inputs into usable products. In the emergency department planning, sharing of information, discussions and decision making represents the throughput process. The output component refers to the outcome of the system’s throughput. The output is observed though decisions made, laws, rules and even funds generated through hospitalization. The feedback component addresses the information used to evaluate and monitor the system. It can be either positive or negative. Negative feedback in the department indicates the department should re-evaluate its inputs and throughputs to maintain the original status quo.

The systems model uses two approaches in the management of an organization, the open and closed approach. The open system regularly exchanges feedback with the external environment whereas the closed system maintains its interaction with the unit (Meyer and O’Brien-Pallas, 2010). The emergency department I work in uses the open system of management because there is interaction with the other departments in the facility and the surroundings. Mayo clinic consists of several other departments such as theatre, the x-ray department, medical department, surgical department, pharmacy and other departments. The x-ray department is frequently used by the doctors and nurses in the emergency sector because of the urgency of treatment required. There has been a problem between the nursing department and the x-ray department recently regarding communication. The nurses complained that the x-ray department does not communicate effectively during the transfer in and out of the patients.

Interventions for the identified problem focus primarily on the restoration of the normal communication between the two departments. Communication is a channel used to run services in the hospital, and when it is cut short, the quality of patient care is hindered (Meyer and O’Brien-Pallas, 2010). The second priority is the identification of the source of the problem and input of the necessary measures to prevent future occurrence of the problem.  The mission of Mayo Clinic is to inspire hope and contribute to the health and well-being of the patients by providing the best care of every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research. The best care for the patients cannot be provided if communication is impaired. The other goal of the intervention is to minimize the time between communications that increase the time required for the provision of services. The problem identified falls under the throughput component of the systems model.

The emergency and the x-ray department will benefit from policies created on communication as a measure of improving quality of care in Mayo clinic. Communication before taking the patient to the emergency department should be made at least 15 minutes earlier in emergency situations and 30 minutes in stabilized patients. According to the x-ray department, the nurses take patients for X-ray without notification. The second strategy is that allocation of nurses for the duty should be made every shift so that there is less confusion in the two sectors. Allocated nurses will ensure that effective communication is maintained and the proper channels are followed.  The hospital administration should ensure that enough phones are available in the various departments so that communication is made easier. I believe communication between the emergency and X-ray department will be restored by the use of the measures stipulated.

The professional standards of nursing provide a framework for the practice of nursing and links nurses with other competencies to maintain quality services (Hatch, 2018). Accountability is a professional standard that nurses should practice. Accountability means taking responsibility for own nursing actions. In the emergency department, registered nurses remain accountable for any procedure that is not done correctly. Communication problems should be reported to the heads of departments for investigation and possible remedies. The second professional standard applicable is the client-focused service delivery (Cherry and Jacob, 2016). The solutions provided will promote the mission of the hospital through the provision of best care to the patients. Trust is increased between the hospital and the clients if quality care is provided. The core value of Mayo Clinic is that patient needs come first. Identification of the remedy to the communication ensures that delay between the two departments is minimized thus putting the needs of the patient first.



Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2016). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Cummings, T. G., & Worley, C. G. (2014). Organization development and change. Cengage learning.

Hatch, M. J. (2018). Organization theory: Modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. Oxford university press.

Manley, K., O’Keefe, H., Jackson, C., Pearce, J., & Smith, S. (2014). A shared purpose framework to deliver person-centred, safe and effective care: organisational transformation using practice development methodology. International Practice Development Journal4(1).

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2017). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Meyer, R. M., & O’Brien-Pallas, L. L. (2010). Nursing services delivery theory: An open system approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12), 2828–2838. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


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