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What is Health System Science?

health ecological system with concentric circles illustratiing the different levels of a health system and their proximity to the patient. Most immediate is the family and care team. These are influenced by the health care delivery systems, the population and environment (social determinants of health), and finally, the environment including prejudices.

A health system consists of all the organizations, people, and actions
whose primary intent is to promote, restore, or maintain health.

~World Health Organization, 2017

Health System Science is, simply, the study of the health system and its effectiveness in promoting health in the real-world.  At the CHSI, we consider the patient and the patient's family to be at the center of the health system. That is what patient-centered care is all about.  And we think that a true health system is more than a bunch of  hospitals, providers, or insurers. It's a socio-ecological system.

We believe that a health system encompasses much more than health care providers and insurance companies. A health system includes everything that influences the health and care of people in the community, including the environment, social determinants of health, the government and its policies, the culture, educational systems, the organizations and resources in the community, and, yes, the providers and insurers.

The CHSI focuses on the improvement of care delivery, population health, and patient outcomes. We recognize that social determinants of health impact us all. Health systems must address these social determinants to be truly patient-centered and effective in improving human health.

Last Published: Aug 22, 2019