A Conceptual Framework for a Systems Thinking Approach to US Population Health

Julie M. Kapp, Eduardo J. Simoes, Anne DeBiasi, Steven J. Kravet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


US health outcomes remain poorer than those of high-income peer countries despite collective efforts directed at improving health and healthcare. Regarding population health, such collective impact efforts increasingly come from community-based organizations, as federal budgets have been cut over the years. The Institute of Medicine recently identified core metrics to facilitate collective efforts and specified the Secretary of Health and Human Services as the position to lead the nation's efforts to improve the health of the population. However, integration across such a complex system requires a clear, deliberate systems approach. We adapt The Malcolm Baldrige Framework for Performance Excellence as a conceptual model with which to apply systems thinking to population health improvement. We offer specific recommendations necessary to build a national systems thinking approach towards improving the health of communities and populations if we hope to ameliorate the US health disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-698
Number of pages13
JournalSystems Research and Behavioral Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • evaluation
  • health policy
  • population health
  • public health systems
  • system dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management


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