StudyCorgi Health & Medicine

The Open System Theory


Healthcare institutions are usually conceptualized as open systems characterized by output, input, and throughput factors. Different processes such as event cycles, coordination, negative entropy, and integration influence the behaviors and goals of practitioners. Input, output, and throughput attributes work dynamically to dictate the quality of services available to different patients. These aspects describe what is known as systems theory. This paper uses the model to analyze a major problem affecting a given unit.

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Description of the Selected Unit

The selected geriatrics unit offers timely, quality, and affordable care to aged people. This unit can be described using the Open System Theory. The unit is a crucial element of the targeted organization since it supports the outlined goals and objectives. It has several caregivers, nurse practitioners, clinicians, and physicians. That being the case, the unit can be described as a production subsystem of the institution. The employees work as teams to deliver quality services and record desirable outputs. Inputs include members of staff, fiscal resources, and care delivery systems.

The throughput attributes include healthcare delivery processes and interventions. Output describes service gains such as the number of patients supported by the unit. Systems as cycles of events in the unit refer to accreditation and certification procedures. Negative feedback can be used to analyze the unit’s effectiveness and performance (Pyone, Smith, & van den Broek, 2017). This discussion shows clearly that the unit fits the criterion for the Systems Theory terminologies.

Description of the Problem

The geriatric unit is always expected to identify, analyze, and support the emerging health needs of every elderly patient. The leaders at the unit should establish powerful teams to support the health needs of different patients. However, a detailed analysis of the practices and goals of the unit using the Open Systems Model reveal that the leaders have been unable to focus on the issues affecting nurse practitioners and their patients.

The institution’s ability to hire more nurses and caregivers has led to the problem of staffing shortage in the unit. It also lacks adequate resources and modern technological devices to address patients’ needs. These aspects show conclusively that the inputs, throughput, output, and negative feedback aspects of the unit are linked to this problem (Mutale, Balabanova, Chintu, Mwanamwenge, & Ayles, 2014). This is the case because the institution has a poor staffing policy and fails to provide appropriate resources (input) to improve care delivery systems (throughput) and patients’ outcomes (output). Consequently, the unit has been recording undesirable health outcomes (negative feedback).

Addressing the Problem: Desired Outcome

The current problem of staffing shortage and lack of adequate resources has affected the health outcomes of many elderly patients. The best solution that should be considered is hiring new practitioners to transform the current situation. The institution can also identify, recruit, and train nurse aids to deliver quality care (White, 2015). The use of modern informatics and technological devices can transform the experiences of many elderly patients. A powerful model aimed at achieving the attributes associated with magnet facilities can also be implemented. The leaders at the unit should present new ideas and resources to deliver exemplary health services.

The desired outcome is that the unit will adopt and support every magnet attribute. This means that powerful practices such as teamwork, patient safety improvement, and collaboration will become part of the geriatric unit. The managers and leaders will engage others, empower newly-recruited caregivers, and make timely health decisions. The acquisition of powerful equipment will make it easier for more nurse aides and practitioners to pursue their goals (Ratnapalan & Uleryk, 2014). Consequently, such practitioners will complete their duties efficiently and develop superior care delivery models.

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Goals and Objectives

Several goals and objectives should be considered to facilitate the above outcome. The first objective is to focus on the magnet status designation. This goal will ensure that different stakeholders in the unit are guided and empowered to implement evidence-based practices that can transform the outcomes of more patients. The second objective or goal is to fulfill the concept of meaningful use (Anbari, 2015). This approach entails the use modern technologies to deliver quality services.

Another goal is hiring and retaining competent nurse aids and practitioners. This move will ensure that the unit achieves its potential. The concept of work-life balance will be used as a critical objective. This goal will empower, reenergize, and support the needs of more practitioners. The approach will encourage different nurses in the unit to focus on the desired outcome.

Translating Goals/Objectives into Procedures and Policies

The above objectives/goals will be used as powerful procedures and policies. For instance, the hiring of competent nurses will be matched with the required staffing ratios. The concept of meaningful use can become a powerful policy for informing the practice of every nurse. The idea of work-life balance will be used as a crucial policy for the unit’s performance (Anbari, 2015). The magnet status concept will become a crucial policy that informs every nurse’s care delivery model.

Professional Standards

Several professional standards can be used to describe and address the above problem. The first one is the Nurse Reinvestment Act (NRA) of 2002. This standard requires that states should have powerful strategies to retain and recruit competent nurses. Some states in the country have implemented various standards to dictate minimum staffing ratios (Matthias, 2015). Such standards can guide the unit’s leaders to deal with the above problems. Meaningful use is another professional standard that describes the manner in which practitioners can use modern technologies to improve patients’ health outcomes.

Organization’s Mission and Values: Improving Culture and Climate

The mission of the organization is to become a leading provider of quality, affordable, and efficient care to all patients. The proposed solution will bring on board more competent nurses and promote the use of modern health informatics (Matthias, 2015). Such aspects will definitely support the mission. The major values associated with the organization include justice, equality, autonomy, and integrity. The solution will support the unit’s performance and ensure that such values are upheld.

The proposed change will create a new environment whereby different stakeholders share ideas, solve problems, identify new resources, and engage in critical thinking. Evidence-based ideas will emerge, thereby transforming the organization’s culture (Mutale et al., 2014). The individuals will promote a new environment whereby processes are evaluated continuously to identify areas for improvement. The practitioners will effect change and make the institution a leading provider of superior patient services.

Concluding Summary

Past studies have revealed that staffing shortage is a risk factor for re-hospitalization, falls, and sentinel events. The targeted unit has been unable to achieve its goals due to the nature of this problem. Additionally, the lack of adequate resources and modern equipment impact patient outcomes negatively. Proper leadership, the concept of meaningful use, and the decision to hire competent practitioners will transform the situation in accordance with the Systems Theory.

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Anbari, A. B. (2015). The RN to BSN transition: A qualitative systematic review. Global Qualitative Nursing Research, 2(1), 1-11. Web.

Matthias, A. D. (2015). Making the case for differentiation of registered nurse practice: Historical perspectives meet contemporary efforts. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 5(4), 108-114. Web.

Mutale, W., Balabanova, D., Chintu, N., Mwanamwenge, M., & Ayles, H. (2014). Application of system thinking concepts in health system strengthening in low-income settings: A proposed conceptual framework for the evaluation of a complex health system intervention: The case of the BHOMA intervention in Zambia. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 22(1), 112-121. Web.

Pyone, T., Smith, H., & van den Broek, N. (2017). Frameworks to assess health systems governance: A systematic review. Health Policy and Planning, 32, 710-722. Web.

Ratnapalan, S., & Uleryk, E. (2014). Organizational learning in health care organizations. Systems, 2, 24-33. Web.

White, F. (2015). Primary health care and public health: Foundations of universal health systems. Medical Principles and Practice, 24, 103-116. Web.

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