Application of Systems Theory

Application of Systems Theory
Application of Systems Theory

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Application of Systems Theory

Description of System

Health care systems may be established in different settings, making it vary the elements it is composed of. A number of challenges may be experienced depending on the nature of the environment of a health care system. Home care is one kind of the systems of nursing care, where patients receive support and care from their homes or where care is delivered within a community locale.

Considering the elements forming a home based care system, it is predictable that nurses and other health practitioners are bound to experience challenges in their daily work.  Among the many issues that home health care faces, communication hitches are the most common. Open system theory can be used to analyze a home based care unit so as to describe the challenges it experiences.

In this case, home-based care may be taken as a nursing production unit. Basing on the Systems theory, a number of elements should interact to form the whole. There should be inputs to feed the system while outputs are as a result of operations and transformations that inputs are subjected to. This nursing production unit is kept in motion by throughput and feedback processes. 

Therefore, basing on Systems theory, home care as a unit is made complete by inputs, outputs, throughput, and feedback processes. A thorough appraisal of this components can play a big role in determining potential sources of issues affecting home-based care, and therefore, it helps in formulating necessary solutions.


In a home care system, some of the important factors that contribute to inputs include a number of energic sources like information, resources, nurse characteristics and the features of care receivers.

Characteristics of care receivers: In a home-based care, young or old age is an important feature of those who benefit from this kind of nursing production. Basically, the aged and the young forms this group as they may experience access challenges to health facilities. Chronic health conditions are predominant in this system, where patients have developed conditions that are ever recurring.

More than 80 percent of adults, who are over sixty-five years of age suffer from at least one long-term condition, while 50 percent of the same category of adults suffer from two or more chronic diseases (Brennan-Cook, & Molloy, 2016).  This indicates that caregivers have a huge workload of addressing the large number of the elderly, who develop complex conditions and other comorbidities day after day. 

Old age is yet another factor that makes health conditions to persist over a long period. Language and speech of these group of persons are troublesome in most cases. As Brennan-Cook & Molloy (2016) states, older people undergo a number of natural physiological changes that interfere with their communication abilities. Old age, as a characteristic of the nursing care recipients in the home care system, is the most significant issue. Health care recipients in this system may be resilient and conservative which affects care delivery.

Characteristics of caregivers: In a home care system, nurses and other care deliverers need to have a high level of competency to meet demands. Nurses form part of the inputs of the system, feeding the system in the sense that they provide care and services needed by home care recipients. Community or home care nurses should be well experienced and conversant with chronic conditions in this setting. They also need to have high levels of expertise so that they can handle a diverse nature of complex conditions and comorbidities.

Other Inputs: There are quite a number of specialized fiscal resources that are needed to deliver care in this system. Communication technologies, support and self-medications devices can play a significant role as inputs.


In a home care setting, this entails factors such as care delivery happening in a local and informal setting which relies a lot on a close relationship established between caregivers and recipients. This will involve the type and quality of operations and services that a health care team offers to patients. Services that can be offered to receivers of home care includes medications, counseling, and educational services. 


If effective service delivery has been achieved, home-based care can result in noticeable changes in patient outcomes.  Safety of both patients and care providers is guaranteed from good interactions of the system’s elements. Improved quality of life, reduced severity of chronic infections and a lowered number of comorbidities among the elderly are some of the expected patient outcomes.

Negative Feedback

Persistence of conditions, reluctance to comply with caregivers and other poor patient outcomes are good measures of performance of the home care system. They are vital for system’s self-evaluation, which triggers positive change.

Communication Problems in Home Care

As identified earlier, communication plays a vital role in defining outcomes from a home care system. In all the elements, especially inputs, ineffective communication causes poor performance of the whole system. Healthcare receivers have a likely disability in their communication because of their physiological changes. Old age tempers with speech and hearing, which makes their relationship with caregivers demanding.

Communication challenges that recipients have require that nurses and other health practitioners have great expertise so as to compensate for the weaknesses in one element of the system for its maintenance. Despite that patient’s characteristics may hinder communication, it is the responsibilities of nurses to devise ways of enhancing effective interactions. Technical and professional nursing language may be a hindrance to a good patient-nurse relationship. Throughput and negative feedback may face interference as they rely on effective communication.

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Solutions to Communication Issues


Improved patient outcomes of the elderly people, facing communication challenges as a result of natural physiological changes that interferes with listening and hearing.


  1. To ensure that all the elderly persons receiving home care achieve the best outcomes from their interactions with nurses by adequately training them so that they are equipped with better communications strategies and ability.
  2. To better patient-nurse relationship by eliminating communication barriers through regular training of both nurses and care recipients, and through an incorporation of helpful technologies.


  1. All nurses and students should be adequately trained, and must have a certificate showing that they can effectively communicate in a home care system before they get licensed to work in the care system.
  2. Educative sessions and training, for both patients and nurses, should be carried out at least once a year, with the purpose of ensuring a positive patient-nurse communication relationship.

Professional Standards

Nurses should be in a position of playing a vital role in ensuring effective communication in whatever interaction they have. They should have excellent skills in processing, recording, assessing and reporting various types of information.

How Resolutions will uphold visions, values, and Mission

The recommended resolutions can help achieve the visions and the missions and values that the organization advocates. Some of the values and visions upheld by the system include resilience, discipline, honesty, advocacy, satisfaction, among others. Promoting training and education of nurses on matters of effective communication can help to achieve this. Effective communication is crucial for advocacy and in edifying the importance of the system’s value.

Given that the system has a mission of bettering the community life, effective communication policies will help in getting feedback, improving patient-nurse interactions among other practices, all of which have a potential of improving the quality of life.


Brennan-Cook, J., & Molloy, M. A. (2016). Utilizing Trigger Films to Enhance Communication Skills of Home Care Clinicians. Home Healthcare Now, 34(7), 376-380. Retrieved from. DOI: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000409.

Johansson, C., D. Miller, V., & Hamrin, S. (2014). Conceptualizing communicative leadership: A framework for analyzing and developing leaders’ communication competence. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 19(2), 147-165.  Retrieved from

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. Retrieved from

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