Study of Health Systems and their Performance Assessment

The science of health systems is still evolving. Health systems is an open system, influencedby various other social systems. Therefore, defining its boundary becomes essential. InOrder has developed its own five-subsystem schema taking cue from the human biological system which is known to be among the most complex systems. Medical sciences use standardized approaches to study human system in terms of its anatomy, physiology, and pathology. Medical sciences have been advancing from gross human body to its organs to tissues to cells to molecules and to genes.

Similarly, health systems can be looked at as a conglomeration of five sub-systems – governance, payer, provider, information, and public health systems – organized as per the core function they sub-serve. These sub-systems can be further sub-divided as per their structure or functions. Payer system has distinct categories – people (paying for healthcare out of their pockets), public health insurance, social health insurance, community-based health insurance, and private health insurance.

The study aims at delineating the structure of the health system, its subsystems and the linkages among them, its open linkages with other social systems, the function of the health system as a whole, and that of each sub-system. It also will bring out core processes involved at each structural level. Based on the delineation of the structure and functions, the study will evolve indicators for the assessment of both the structure, the processes, and the function as reflected through output or outcomes or both.