The Application of Complex Systems Science to Healthcare and Hernia Disease

  • Kyle L. Kleppe
  • Bruce Ramshaw


Complex systems science is a scientific platform that describes a more complete understanding of our world. It was first discovered over 100 years ago by a group of physicists who found that the reductionist scientific platform that produced Newtonian physics was an incomplete understanding of our real biologic world. This discovery led to quantum mechanics and a much better scientific foundation for innovation and discovery in that discipline. We are now beginning to realize that this more complete scientific platform for physics also applies to all disciplines in our world, especially healthcare. Working with a small multidisciplinary team, we have applied complex systems science to healthcare. We implemented the principles of value-based clinical quality improvement (CQI) and nonlinear analytics in the context of definable, whole patient care processes, starting with hernia disease. This has allowed us to be able to measure and improve the value of care we provide (decrease costs at the same time as quality and patient perspective measures are improved). This chapter will describe the principles and tools of complex systems science and show examples of the benefits to our healthcare system when these tools are applied to real patient care.


Complex systems science Hernia disease Clinical quality improvement Factor analysis Nonlinear statistics Data analytics 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of MedicineKnoxvilleUSA

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