VA Healthcare

Capturing the VA healthcare system to identify and address health-threat scenarios of consequence

These fundamental building blocks needed to model a healthcare system: medical physics, organizational physics, and social physics
These fundamental building blocks needed to model a healthcare system: medical physics, organizational physics, and social physics

Formulating policy for public health action can be characterized as designing solutions within a complex adaptive system-of-systems (CASoS). Public health systems are complex due to the large number of interdependencies and non-linear interactions among autonomous agents, such as individuals, health care organizations, and governmental agencies. They are adaptive in that the behaviors of individuals, organizations, and diseases are highly responsive to the behaviors of other such agents, as well as to hazards and natural disasters. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is collaborating with CASoS Engineers to capture the health care system as a complex adaptive system-of-systems, with the intent of identifying and addressing health-threat scenarios of consequence.

In our approach, the VA health care system was decomposed into the fundamental building-blocks of medical physics, organizational physics, and social physics. A model was developed that allows the investigation of how local policies affect the organization as a whole, and vice versa, producing a framework capable of analyzing organizational behaviors and constraints within complex hierarchical networks.

Journal Articles

Modeling Hospitals’ Adaptive Capacity during a Loss of Infrastructure ServicesJournal of Healthcare Engineering, March 2015, Vol.6, Issue 1, pp 85-120.

Modeling Evacuation of a Hospital without Electric PowerPrehospital and Disaster Medicine. Vol. 30, Issue 03, June 2015, pp 279-287. Pre-publication draft: [PDF] (Online publication)

Reports and Symposia

Public Health Care as a Complex Adaptive System of Systems, 8th International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS 2011), July 2011 [PDF]

Extending Opinion Dynamics to Model Public Health Problems and Analyze Public Policy Interventions, 8th International Conference on Complex Systems, (ICCS 2011), July 2011 [PDF]

Presentations

Public Health Care as a Complex Adaptive System of Systems, 8th International Conference on Complex Systems, June 2011 [PDF]

Extending Opinion Dynamics to Model Public Health Problems and Analyze Public Policy Interventions, 8th International Conference on Complex Systems, June 2011 [PDF]

The Effect of Healthcare Environments on a Pandemic Influenza Outbreak, 2010 Conference on Modeling for Public Health Action: From Epidemiology to Operations, Centers for Disease Control & Preparedness, December 2010 [PDF]

Loki-Infect 3: A Portable Networked Agent Model for Designing Community-Level Containment Strategies, 2010 Conference on Modeling for Public Health Action: From Epidemiology to Operations, Centers for Disease Control & Preparedness, December 2010 [PDF]

A Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling Framework for Public Health Action Exemplified by the Veterans Affairs Modeling Object Oriented Simulation Environment, 2010 Conference on Modeling for Public Health Action: From Epidemiology to Operations, Centers for Disease Control & Preparedness, December 2010 [PDF]

Defining and Evaluating Threats and Designing Strategies for VA Healthcare, in Proceedings of 2010 VHA Comprehensive Emergency Management
Program Evaluation and Research Conference, Paper Session III: Systems & Recovery , May 2010 [PDF]