Avoidable Hospitalizations in Older Adults

Applying Complexity Science Principles and Machine Learning Approaches


Avoidable hospitalizations are the subject of considerable interest to decision makers, because such admissions are deemed to be expensive, unhelpful to patients, and reflect underperformance of health systems’ organization [2–7]. Hospitalizations that might have been averted by health service interventions for older people are of particular concern. This chapter examines the nature of the problem and limitations of current approaches. It identifies the need for a comprehensive conceptual framework that addresses the complex human systems of aging, being ill, and dying in contemporary society. Avoidable hospitalizations conceptualized as reflecting biological, psychosocial, organizational, and social phenomena opens up a complex adaptive systems approach to the problematical issue of hospitalizations for older people. It focuses on the current and potential contributions of informatics and computational science to this field. A real-time informatics system based on patients’ narratives of their wellness and illness: the Patient Journey Record system provides an example of an adaptive system that addresses avoidable hospitalizations using a complex systems framework.


Machine Learn Natural Language Processing Complex Adaptive System Personal Narrative Patient Journey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Primary CareTrinity College, Dublin, College GreenDublin D2Ireland
  2. 2.School of Computer Science and StatisticsTrinity College, Dublin, College GreenDublin D2Ireland
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  4. 4.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  5. 5.Patient Journey Record Campus Company, Trinity College Dublin, College GreenDublin D2Ireland

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