Over the past two decades, prominent researchers such as Greenhalgh , Plsek , Leykum , Lanham , Petticrew  and Hawe [6, 7] and their colleagues and teams have promoted using complexity theory to describe and analyse the various dimensions of healthcare organisation [8–12]. Internationally, in parallel, governments have recognised the need to ‘think differently’ about healthcare policy and service delivery, but without much traction on how that might be done and what it might mean. Nevertheless, it has now become more common—but by no means universal—to apply a complexity lens to understanding healthcare services and to improving them. This involves greater appreciation of elaborate, intricate, multi-faceted care networks, healthcare ecosystems, layered parts in composite settings, contextual differences across care settings, clinical cultures, multi-agent environments, and the convoluted, challenging, wicked problems  these systems throw up. However, with some relatively limited exceptions, the quality and safety fields’ interest in complexity has, to date, been largely superficial, both theoretically and empirically .
|Title of host publication||Textbook of patient safety and clinical risk management|
|Editors||Liam Donaldson, Walter Ricciardi, Susan Sheridan, Riccardo Tartaglia|
|Place of Publication||Switzerland|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- Complexity science
- Quality and safety
- Complex Adaptive Systems
- Implementation science
- Social network analysis