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published: 01-06-2011

Towards System Innovations in Health Systems

Modern health care systems have been exceptionally successful in dealing with particular diseases. At the same time, there are still many concerns they have not yet been able to resolve. Over the last few decades, most countries in the prosperous West, for various reasons and in divergent ways, have sought to reform their health system in order to ensure the affordability of care in the future as well. However, the dynamics and challenges involved are complex: more people feel that the quality of care and of life has gone down of late, but we also observe that more people develop health complaints due to all sorts of diseases associated with modern life, such as obesity and diabetes. The many reforms have rather turned the care system upside down. Today, market forces influence medical care, there is more emphasis on own responsibility of patients, and health insurers have increasingly gained control of public health management. The ongoing debates on these issues take place against the backdrop of drastic demographic changes, such as ageing and a larger diversity of lifestyles.

Many in medical science and health care believe that it will prove difficult to solve the structural problems of the care system. For one thing, how do we develop sustainable care that puts people center-stage and that is still efficient and affordable? In this book, the authors address the role of transitions in this process. To what extent does a focus on transitions shed new light on the failings of the current system? Can newly gained insights serve as a sustainable basis for new reforms? In addition, the authors explore how new strategies may contribute to developing a sustainable care system.

This study, which is due to be out next year, comprises three main objectives. It seeks to gain more insight into the established processes of the current care system. It pursues analysis of the fundamental challenges involved, and how innovation may help to solve them. Finally, it explores how transitions and innovations that proved successful in other social domains can contribute to resolving the persistent problems of our care system. 

Table of Contents