Tag Archives: whole systems research

What Does it Take to Change Health Care?


This post was written by Sandi Gordon, Senior Program Manager for Samueli Institute.

Improving the nation’s health care system takes more than a big idea. Setting out to change a complex and financially-driven network of care requires systematic collaboration to balance the often competing priorities of population health, patient experience and cost.

Continue reading “What Does it Take to Change Health Care?” »

Good Science, Good Medicine

iPad and stethescope

Beliefs – called paradigms in science – are the hardest things to change. As Albert Einstein said, it is easier to crack an atom than a mind, and this applies in the area of medicine and healing also. With the change of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in December 2014- that change in mind has occurred.

What was once frontier has now become mainstream.

What was once unconventional and alternative medicine has now become simply medicine.

As Dr. Josie Briggs, the current director of NCCIH has stated, the name change reflects the movement in the standard of care towards integrative care. Continue reading “Good Science, Good Medicine” »

Think BIG for Social Wellbeing


Metrics are essential to reduce health care costs and disease rates while improving care and wellbeing. Progress can only be achieved by knowing:

  • the return on investment of wellness behaviors and programs
  • the success rates of traditional health interventions like medications and surgeries and how they compare with alternative treatments
  • statistics on common health problems and diseases

What if we could take a step beyond that and develop an actual currency to create incentives and encourage positive decision-making in individuals, businesses and organizational leaders.
Continue reading “Think BIG for Social Wellbeing” »

3 Ways to Make Hospitals Healthier: A Frontier for Scientific Architecture

doctor with patient

Submitted by Lorissa MacAllister, Samueli Institute Healing Spaces Specialist and founder of Enviah, a consulting firm

The fact that the Ebola virus has found its way into the United States raises urgent questions about how well the interior design of our hospitals minimizes risks of infection and promotes healing.

Designing hospitals that are as healthy as they could or should be requires an understanding of how good architecture can contribute to the healing process. The critical intersection of design, healthcare and science will require the following: Continue reading “3 Ways to Make Hospitals Healthier: A Frontier for Scientific Architecture” »

5 Traits of Resilience


What does it mean to be a resilient person, community or society?

Our research shows that it’s more than just being able to bounce back from adversity. As our understanding of resilience expands, we learn that resilience includes the following traits:

  1. Resilience Requires Evolution
    Resilience thinking can help when confronted with a major disturbance to the system. When adapting to adversity, people, families, businesses and communities can learn coping skills and make creative use of available resources.
  2. Resilience is Context Based
    Resilience depends on point of view. For example, after deployment the warrior, spouse, children, unit and community all define differently the successful reintegration into home life.
  3. The Environment Matters
    Resilience is a two-way street: resilience thinking should not fall on our warfighters alone. Society must accommodate those who serve.
  4. Resilience is Being Prepared
    Resilience thinking includes learning from prior experiences, anticipating future needs and actively preparing. Specific personal and community systems’ planning can prevent or mitigate some calamity.
  5. Resilience Requires Transformation
    When returning to normal is impossible, we must move forward. People, families, businesses, and communities struggle and grow to adapt in face of adversity and adopt a “new normal.”

For Military and Community Leaders:

Download our white paper on resilience: Stability through Change. (LEFT)

InterfaceFocusCoverFor Researchers:

Check out the October 2014 issue of Interface Focus, the Royal Society’s UK-based journal, which explores Samueli Institute’s efforts to look beyond the traditionally siloed way of studying resilience and instead looks at how the whole system contributes to how individuals and societies respond and recover from traumatic experiences. (RIGHT)

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