Inderscience Publishers

Healthcare system as a value network

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Healthcare systems consist of many different kinds of actors with varying interests and purposes. This forms a complex set of relationships, which can be seen as a network. The interesting question is how to balance in the network the needs of the patient as the customer and the purposes of the provider to operate effectively. We argue that a value network analysis is a key for this question, as it is able to reveal the different actors of the network, their roles and purposes, and the central value functions of the network. To elaborate this interesting issue, we have conducted a large–scale case study from the healthcare sector. The study includes interviews, observation and secondary data, e.g., quantitative data in the form of organisations' statistics. In the paper, we will present our value network analysis of the case and the results that increase the understanding of the actors, value functions and value creation potential of a healthcare system.

Keywords: healthcare systems, value networks, value functions, complex relationships, patient needs, customers, service providers, network analysis, central functions, quantitative data, organisation statistics, value creation, Finland, management, marketing

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