Made for Each Other: The New "Complexity Science" and the Health Care Mess

Conference on complexity and health care

In 2000, the VHA Health Foundation, a public foundation dedicated to improving the health of communities, established the Plexus Institute, a new organization established to pursue the application of complexity science to health-related organizational systems.

Complexity science is an emerging scientific discipline that examines how order emerges in the world from nonlinear, complex, adaptive systems. Aspects of health care that might benefit from applying this science include clinical quality management, hospital staff management and the development of new health-delivery models.

Key Results

  • The nonprofit Plexus Institute was established in 2001, under the guidance of a planning group of 23 leading scientists, organizational theorists, health practitioners and executives.

    The organization's stated mission is to foster the health of individuals, families, communities, organizations and the natural environment by helping people use concepts emerging from the new science of complexity.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $50,000.

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