Sample Health Care Research Paper Summary on Utilization of Open Systems Theory in Skilled Nursing Facility

Utilization of Open Systems Theory in Skilled Nursing Facility

Systems theory espouses various beliefs including the representation of a system as comprising of many parts that work together for the achievement of particular objectives. In the healthcare system, a nursing facility can be viewed as a system consisting of several departments whose objectives are to attain greater good for the facility. The nursing system can be viewed as an open system in which there is inflow and outflow of resources. Such a system is described as an input output system due to the range of interactions that occur within it. For a system such as a nursing facility to be effective, the operations have to be centred on the need for interdepartmental collaborations, interactions and communications. The open systems theory relates to how nursing works through various nursing variables and staffing towards effectiveness. The open systems theory demands education of all members as well as effective management to be able to prevent entropy of the systems (Scott, 2002).

The systems theory in the nursing environment is also applicable to the hierarchical nature of operations in these environments. The open systems theory perfectly fits in due to the availability of subsystems within the hierarchies. It is the responsibility of nursing leaders and facility managers to initiate and uphold integration and coordination among the different subsystems to ensure continued success. The increase in competition in the nursing environment for instance, results in changes which should be monitored and addressed effectively. The nursing leaders have to evaluate the nature and extent of changes in the environment and subsequently maintain sustainable profitability. Instead of focusing on the challenges arising from changes in the external environment, facility leaders should focus on the opportunities presented by those challenges (Meyer & O’brien-Pallas, 2010).



Meyer, R.M. & O’brien-Pallas, L.L. (2010). Nursing services delivery theory: an open

System approach. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(12), 2828–2838.

Scott, W.R. (2002). Organizations: Rational, natural, and open systems. Upper Saddle River,

NJ: Prentice Hall.


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