Mary Dolansky, PhD, RN
Shirley Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN
Knowledge in an emerging field is advanced more rapidly when valid and reliable measures of the concepts central to that field are available. Systems Thinking is viewed as a key concept in the success of continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiatives, yet no valid and reliable instrument exists to measure Systems Thinking. The goal of this project is to develop and conduct psychometric testing of the Systems Thinking Scale (STS).
The development of a valid and reliable measure of Systems Thinking has the potential to contribute to the science of CQI in several ways:
- Increase our understanding of one of the mechanisms by which CQI processes achieve their results
- Assist CQI scientists and practitioners to build models of predictors of successful CQI projects
- Increase our understanding of the human social capital available on CQI teams
- Improve our education efforts of future CQI team members
Working Definition of Systems Thinking
The ability to recognize, understand, and synthesize the interactions, and interdependencies in a set of components designed for a specific purpose. This includes the ability to recognize patterns and repetitions in the interactions and an understanding of how actions and components can reinforce or counteract each other. These relationships and patterns can be at different levels: temporal, spatial, social, technical or cultural. It is fundamental to undertaking specific methodology or strategies to explore and redesign a set of components comprising a whole.
Components: Sequence of events, causal sequence, multiple causations possible, variation of different types (random/special), feedback, interrelations of factors, patterns of relationships, mechanisms explain the cause and effect.
Publications and/or Presentations Related to the Study
Moore, S.M., Dolansky, M.A., Palmieri, P., Singh, M., Alemi, F. (2010, April 23). Developing a Measure of System Thinking: A Key Component in the Advancement of the Science of QI. International Health Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare, Acropolis Nice, France.
Moore, S.M., Dolansky, M.A., Palmieri, P., Singh, M., Alemi, F. (2009, June 29). Developing a Measure of System Thinking: A Key Component in the Advancement of the Science of QI. Presented at the Academy Health Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.
Moore, S., Dolansky, M.A., Singh, M., Caron, A., Palmieri, P. (2010). Development of a Measure of Systems Thinking: A Key Component of the Advancement of the Science of Continuous Quality Improvement. Poster presented at the 16th Annual International Scientific Symposium on Improving the Quality and Value of Health Care. Orlando, FL, December 6, 2010.