Applied Summary Paper
DEFINITION OF A SYSTEM2
May 20, 2002
Definition of a System
A system is "a set of interacting elements that acquires inputs from the environment, transforms them, and discharges outputs to the external environments" (Daft, p. 14). The elements are people and groups that interact and depend on one another to produce one common outcome. Marvin Weisbord outlines the "important processes that go on in organizations" (Weisbord, p. 1) and breaks them down in a 6 Box Model. The categories in the model are: purposes, structure, relationships, rewards, leadership, and helpful mechanisms. The system in which I am involved is the PreRegistration Department at Blanchard Valley Hospital. This system can be analyzed and better understood by using Weisbord's guidelines.
The main purpose of our department is to accurately gather demographic and insurance information for over 200 outpatients per day.
In addition, we are expected to call insurance companies and precertify approximately 75 outpatient tests and procedures and at least 60 inpatient admissions per day.
My department exists to ensure the work done by other departments will be reimbursed by insurance, and that patient's paperwork is in order before they arrive for testing. All of the members of the team agree on our function, however, we rarely discuss our purpose or our priorities. Our goals are clear: accuracy (quality) and quantity, but it is unclear to our team members as to which of these is more important. When we ask our supervisor, she stresses both are equally important. Unfortunately one will always outweigh the other.
The structural design of an organization is based on how the group runs, and what levels of formal power exist. The organization I work in is...