Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay

Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay

To prepare:

Review the Meyer article, “Nursing Services Delivery Theory: An Open System Approach,” in this week’s Learning Resources. Focus especially on the information presented in Table 1 (p. 2831) and Figure 2 (p. 2833).


Reflect on your organization or one with which you are familiar. Within a particular department or unit in this organization, identify a problem the staff is encountering.
Using Table 1 in the Meyer article as a guide, analyze the department or unit, identifying inputs, throughput, output, cycles of events, and negative feedback. Consider whether the problem you have selected relates to input, throughput, output, cycles of events, and/or negative feedback.
Think about how you could address the problem: Consider what a desired outcome would be, then formulate related goals and objectives, and translate those goals into policies and procedures. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.
Research professional standards that are pertinent to your identified problem.
Reflect on the organization’s mission statement and values. In addition, consider how addressing this problem would uphold the mission and values, while improving the organizational culture and climate. (Depending on the organization you have selected, you may have explored these in the Week 1 Discussion.) Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.
To complete:

By Day 7
Write a 3- to 5-page Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay paper (page count does not include title and reference page) that addresses the following:

Describe a department or unit within a health care organization using systems theory terminology. Include a description of inputs, throughput, output, cycles of events, and negative feedback.
Describe the problem you identified within the department or unit using an open- systems approach, and state where the problem exists using the systems theory model (input, throughput, output, cycles of events, or negative feedback).
Based on this information, explain how you would address the problem as follows:
Formulate a desired outcome.
Identify goals and objectives that would facilitate that outcome.
Translate those goals and objectives into policies and procedures for the department or unit.
Describe relevant professional standards.
Explain how your proposed resolution to the problem would uphold the organization’s mission and values and improve the culture and climate Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.



Systems Theory

Meyer and O’Brien’s article entitled, “Nursing services delivery theory: An open system approach,” highlights the problems that affect nursing outcomes in health organizations. The authors base their argument on the theory of nursing services delivery and the application of the open system theory. The principles of these theories inform on the influence of availability of resources to the performance of the hospital staff. Through these theories, the authors managed to link nursing responsibilities, staffing, to the work environment and results from different departments. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay. Meyer &O’Brien, (2016) collected data from CINAHL and Business Source Premier between 1980 and 2008. The research framework comprised of theories, models, organizational structure, nursing units, and administration.

From a succinct literature review, the authors determined that many health organizations employ traditional nurse staffing methods, which later compromise the patient outcomes due to poor performance. For this reason, Meyer & O’Brien (2016) suggested that there is a need for a theory explains the strategies for quality service delivery in healthcare organizations. The authors established that healthcare organizations are open systems comprised of energy transformation, dynamic state, and cycles of events, negative feedback, differentiation, and coordination Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.

Problem and Relation to Work Place

According to the open systems theory, nursing practice is likened to a continuous coordination of inputs and outputs. The inputs entail an inflow of information from an external environment. Resultantly, the throughputs transform the inputs, which re-energize the entire system. The output refers to the products that exported to the external environment. Verleye, Gemmel and Rangarajan (2014) explain that the theory applies to the Nursing Services Delivery Theory, which explains that the inputs in a healthcare organization refer to the people, materials, resources, and labor .The throughputs include the nursing interventions and their roles in promoting patient care. Similarly, the outputs are the revenues and accreditation criteria, while negative feedback shows an organization’s performance indicators. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay. The theories help in cumulative need for coherency in frameworks that explain the relationship of organizational activities and outcome variables from a nursing perspective.

In my current organization, there is a growing trend of clinical errors in the department in charge of acute care. Particularly, student trainees tend to perform inaccuracies, especially during night shifts. The errors not only cause poor patient outcomes, but also an unfriendly working environment. In other extreme cases, medical blunders result to reduced nurse-patient relationships. In relation to Meyer and O’Brien’s perspective, the problem of clinical errors relates with people as the staff in the Nursing Services Delivery. The main reason for faults in the department is long hours of work with no breaks. Besides, understaffing in the same department also aggravates the rate of mistakes, since there are few trained nurses who guide the trainees. In other circumstances, trainees face difficulties yet a professional nurse is not available to provide necessary guidance. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.

Addressing the Problem

Understaffing is a crucial problem in many health care facilities that handle a large patient influx. Normally, short-staffed institutions experience frequent burnouts, leading to high employee turnovers (Schwartz,& Mazouni, 2017). To alleviate this situation, employers ought to invest more when hiring personnel.  It is important to provide for a better nurse-patient ration to ensure patient-centered care. Besides, enhancing proper working environments by investing in more technological infrastructure is vital.  Health care institutions ought to ensure enough room for patients and nursing staff Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.


Through equipping health institution with enough employees, the patient-nurse ratio is standardized. Cho, Kim, Yeon,You and Lee (2015) explain that through this way, medical practitioners dedicate more time on patients and attend to their problems. It is through such interventions that better patient outcomes are achieved.  Besides, improved working environments in health care facilities provide for easier maneuvering and faster service delivery. Equipping hospitals with adequate technology provides for easier and precise storage of data. This way, retrieval and analysis of information becomes easier. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.

Policies to facilitate the Outcomes

Health care facilities ought to operate under a set of relevant guidelines, which stipulate clear procedures for execution of duties. For instance, it is essential that the institutions invest in qualified personnel, who guarantee minimal errors during medications. Besides, they ought to ensure they work under proper management, with adaptive and productive subsystems, leading to self-efficacy. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay. Administrators should be competent, by ensuring the staff practice in accordance to stipulated provisions.

Professional Standards

Professional standards are important in healthcare, since they outline frameworks which help institutions achieve the desired performances. They direct and maintain safe and competent nursing practice (Masters, 2015). In this case, health care professionals ought to provide enough personnel to ensure patients are served diligently. Employing fewer staff overburdens them, and this contravenes the professional standards of work amongst employees. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay. Facilities with enough nurses are guaranteed of minimal medical errors and low readmission rates.

Proposed Solutions and upholding Mission and Vision

Through the open systems theory, institutions ought to observe a steady flow between inputs and through puts to ensure desirable outputs. In a healthcare setting, nurses play an integral role to achieve improved health of patients, which is the primary desirable outcome that each health institution anticipates. Specifically, lack of enough staff is the major problems in many of the healthcare facilities. To achieve the mission and vision of providing quality services in the best way possible, these institutions ought to invest more in the hiring processes. This includes offering respectable salaries to qualified staff. This way, the facilities experience lower employee turnovers and increased nurse-patient interactions. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.


Cho, S. H., Kim, Y. S., Yeon, K. N., You, S. J., & Lee, I. D. (2015). Effects of increasing nurse staffing on missed nursing care. International nursing review, 62(2), 267-274.

doi: 10.1111/inr.12173

Masters, K. (2015). Role development in professional nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Retrieved from

Meyer, R. M., & O’Brien‐Pallas, L. L. (2010). Nursing services delivery theory: an open system approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12), 2828-2838. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.

doi:  10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05449.x

Schwartz, A., & Mazouni, A. (2017). Medical student, nursing student, and non-health care respondents’ implicit attitudes toward doctors and patients: Development and a pilot study of a new implicit attitudes test (IAT). Plos ONE12(8), 1-12. Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay.


Verleye, K., Gemmel, P., & Rangarajan, D. (2014). Managing engagement behaviors in a network of customers and stakeholders: Evidence from the nursing home sector. Journal of Service Research, 17(1), 68-84.

Retrieved from Systems Theory in healthcare delivery essay

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top