Healthcare can be seen as a complex adaptive system, as can the information that underpins, permeates and radiates from it.
According to the TED talk below, complexity implies that the system cannot be understood from one perspective alone, or using a single language.
The list is not intended to be exhaustive - in two significant ways - the set of categories / perspectives is not complete, and nor is the only way of categorising the space. Indeed the selection/discovery of categories/perspectives is part of the process of engaging with subject matter, and is an area where good choices can help to make that engagement more fruitful.
In a complex adaptive systems we should be cautious of single perspectives overshadowing all others, and becoming a dominant ideology.
Evidence-based medicine is great. Patient-centered care is great. What I am suggesting is that healthcare is bigger and more diffuse than either of them alone.
As we engage with healthcare information we see in a particular way from a particular perspective and can strive to achieve particular outcomes. This involves working with others who have different perspectives and ways of seeing. Healthcare Informatics is about helping to build and sustain those bridges, as well as making it easier to deliver outcomes from a particular perspective and way of seeing.
By Charlie McCay
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