Organizational System

An organizational system is defined as a set of interdependent, interactive and interconnected components forming a complex whole and working together to accomplish specific goals and objectives. Complex sociotechnical systems often consist of numerous subsystems that tend to be organized in some form of hierarchical structure. All systems are delineated by their internal and external boundaries and generally involve people, inputs, processes, outputs, structure, technology, information, methods, and materials. Organizational culture, staff engagement, leadership, availability of resources, goal alignment, physical and social environment, feedback mechanisms, suppliers, and a wide range of other organizational factors have a profound impact on the overall effectiveness of the system. Because of the interrelated nature of various system components, a change in any particular component can have a significant effect on other system components and their capability to deliver intended outcomes. In the intricate systems with thousands of process inputs it is important to identify, optimize and control the vital few variables that influence system performance. The probability of achieving desired outcomes can be significantly increased by controlling process inputs. To prevent catastrophic failures and minimize the potential impact of unavoidable human errors it may be necessary to introduce parallel system redundancies where two or more system components perform the same function. Understanding the characteristics of complex sociotechnical systems and incorporating Human Factors Engineering in the system design process provide the foundation for healthcare organizations to respond effectively to environmental changes and consistently deliver value to patients and other stakeholders. Traditional approaches to system design have been focused on the individual technical components without taking into consideration human characteristics and behaviours. However, to improve reliability, effectiveness and efficiency of the overall system it is essential to identify potential interactions among system components, capitalize on synergies and optimize the performance of both the technical and human system components.

 

Organizational System