Complex Adaptive Systems ( Cass ) And The Relationships That Occur Within Them

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Complexity science is the study of complex adaptive systems (CASs) and the relationships that occur within them. CASs are a function of what has previously occurred, what is currently occurring, and are open to energy and information from the environment all around them (Chaffee & McNeill, 2007). The boundaries that define theses systems are fuzzy; each individual is their own CAS that is influenced by a multitude of other CASs, all of which may belong to increasingly larger CASs. The health care system is a CAS in and of itself that is made of a multitude of smaller CASs – hospitals, floors, units, and individuals. There are a many characteristics that help to make up and define what a CAS is. Understanding these
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While extremely beneficial, this tool can also become a hindrance when supplies are not restocked or are placed in the wrong location. Another important member of this floor is the charge nurse who acts as a liaison between patients, nurses, shifts, and hospital administrators. The charge nurse does not have a set of patients assigned to them specifically, but helps nurses to get caught up when they fall behind and acts in a generalized way to keep the floor functioning. The floor receptionist helps to direct patient calls to the appropriate personnel, but this person is only present at certain times during the day. Also visiting at any given time are physicians, chaplains, respiratory therapists, wound nurses, IV therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and a variety of other hospital personnel. With all of these individuals coming and going, this floor is constantly abuzz with movement as everyone works together to help the patients who populate this floor receive the health care they need.
CAS 1 - Simple Rules Applied Locally
Because of its status as a CAS, there are certain defining characteristics of this floor that when examined closely can help us to get a better picture of how it functions. Simple rules applied locally help to keep the CAS organized and moving appropriately. According to Plsek and Greenhalg (2001), simple rules are present in almost everything we do; they help us to
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