System Complexity and the Challenge of Too Much Medicine

  • 15 Mar 2018
  • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Online (BlueJeans)


  • Attend the meeting virtually through a BlueJeans webinar at your computer or other device.

Registration is closed

System Complexity and the Challenge of Too Much Medicine


This Meeting is a Webinar Only!

Although modern medicine has greatly advanced our capabilities, it has also resulted in a healthcare system of remarkable complexity. Hospital labor and delivery units often have five waste containers - one for sharps, one for biohazards, one for soiled linens, one for recycling, and one, of course, for normal garbage. The complexity of these environments may be the root cause of both our successes and our failures, including a growing tendency to cause harm by intervening inappropriately in childbirth. This talk will review new ways of thinking about how to intentionally simplify the complexity of the healthcare systems we work in order to take better care of mothers and babies.

Things You will Learn:

  • Understand the link between system complexity and errors in medicine
  • Distinguish between institutional quality improvement and improvement at large scale
  • Explain the role of human centered design, system engineering, and automation in simplifying systems

Presenter Details:

  • Neel Shah, MD, MPP
    Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School
    Director, Delivery Decisions Initiative, Ariadne Labs
    His team is currently collaborating with hospitals across the United States, and using methods from design, systems engineering, and management to reduce the epidemic of avoidable c-sections.

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