A microsystem in health care delivery can be defined as a small group of people who work together on a regular basis to provide care to discrete subpopulations including the patients.
It has clinical and business aims, linked processes, shared information environment and produces performance outcomes. They evolve over time and are (often) embedded in larger organizations. As a type of complex adaptive system, they must: (1) do the work, (2) meet staff needs, (3) maintain themselves as a clinical unit.
Clinical microsystems are the front-line units that provide most health care to most people. They are the places where patients, families and care teams meet. Microsystems also include support staff, processes, technology and recurring patterns of information, behavior and results. Central to every clinical microsystem is the patient.
The microsystem is the place where:
- Care is made
- Quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and innovation are made
- Staff morale and patient satisfaction are made
Microsystems are the building blocks of all health systems for populations of people including Accountable Care Organizations and Networks.