‘Systems thinking’ can be hugely valuable for complex decision making, taming complexity and bring decision makers to a shared understanding.
In this session Dennis Sherwood, a leading expert on systems thinking, uses a case study based on primary care to show us how causal loop diagrams can be an insightful tool for decision making not just in primary care but in health and care as a whole.
Dennis Sherwood is a leading expert on systems thinking, and this case study is based on some work commissioned by GDPF on behalf of the UK’s LMCs.
Wise decision making is much aided when all the decision makers are ‘on the same page’, and when the consequences of possible decisions are well thought-through, so avoiding so-called “unintended consequences”. But this is all the more difficult to achieve if the decision relates to a highly complex system – as is usually the case in health care. Which is where ‘systems thinking’ can be hugely valuable, for as this presentation will describe, an insightful ‘causal loop diagram’ can tame that complexity, and – quite literally – become that ‘same page’.
GP practices are under ever more pressure. The ageing population. Early retirement. Structural changes resulting from the de-commissioning of CCGs and the formation of ICSs. To name but three. If you had a ‘magic wand’, what decisions would you take to make ‘a better world’? But before you make your mind up, you might find it helpful to have a deeper insight into a holistic picture of the full context within which a GP, and a GP practice, sits, and of how the ageing population, retirement, ICSs – and very many other things too – are mutually ‘joined up’. For only then can you anticipate how an intervention ‘here’ might result in something unintended happening ‘there’. Which is what this session is all about – the presentation of a ‘systems thinking causal loop diagram’ that depicts an ‘archetypal’ GP practice, so providing a platform for informed discussion and wise decision making.