Abstract for: ReThink Health Dynamics: Understanding and Influencing Local Health System Change

Health system reform is a national priority in the U.S., but it is increasingly being pursued through a mosaic of local initiatives. More and more concerned leaders in cities, towns, and regions across the country are working within their local health systems to achieve better health, better care, lower cost, and greater equity. Such ambitious and widely dispersed ventures, however, are hard to plan, unwieldy to manage, and slow to spread. Further progress could occur if diverse stakeholders were better able to play out intervention scenarios, weigh trade-offs, set aside schemes that are unlikely to succeed, and enact strategies that promise the most robust results. Through the Rippel Foundationís ReThink Health initiative, veteran leaders and creative methodologists are learning what it takes to spark and sustain system-wide improvements in different settings. Interactive simulation modeling and game-based learning support innovators by bringing greater structure, evidence, and creativity to the action planning process. In this paper we provide an overview of the ReThink Health Dynamics simulation model by providing a summary of its structure, intervention options, data sources, user interface, experiences in pilot sites, initial insights, evaluation plan, and possibilities for further development and diffusion.