Abstract for: Care & Cure Combined: Using Simulation to Develop Organization Design Theory for Health Care Processes

The health care sector is facing a multitude of problems at the same time: rising costs, increase in patients with lifelong diseases, and unsatisfying quality. There is a prominent role for conditions that require a combination of simple (care) and complex (cure) activities. These conditions require different provider expertise; one offering care expertise or more general, preventive monitoring, and the other offering cure expertise, or more specialized, medical monitoring/intervention. In organization design theory the focused factory concept is presented as a way of organizing such processes. However, the application of this concept does not always work well. For decennia, Dutch perinatal care is organized according to the focused factory concept, but recently there has been considerable debate with regard to its performance. Research has shown that the design of the Dutch perinatal care system might not be the right one (Pieters, Van Oirschot, & Akkermans, 2010). In response to its problems, the sector is seeking alternative organization designs. In this paper simulation modeling is used to evaluate these different organization design experiments. From these simulations, we seek to build organization design theory for this type of conditions (Davis, Eisenhardt, & Bingham, 2007; Schwaninger & Grösser, 2008).