Healthcare planning seems beset with problems at all hierarchical levels. These are caused by the ‘soft’ nature of many of the issues present in healthcare planning and the high levels of complexity inherent in healthcare services. There has, in recent years, been a move to utilize systems thinking ideas in an effort to gain a better understanding of the forces at work within the healthcare environment and these have had some success. This paper argues that systems-based methodologies can be further enhanced by metrication and modeling which assist in exploring the changed emergent behavior of a system resulting from management intervention. The paper describes the Holon Framework as an evolving systems-based approach that has been used to help clients understand complex systems (in the education domain) that would have application in the analysis of healthcare problems.
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