Clinical Microsystems Article Summary and Critique

In the journal article “Clinical Microsystems, Part 1: The Building Blocks of Health Systems,” E.C. Nelson, M.M. Godfrey, P.B. Batalden, S.A. Berry, et al. presents a well-documented and comprehensive exploration of clinical microsystems or the “places where patients, families, and care teams meet,” such as a hospital emergency room, a physician’s office, or a nursing home (2008, p. 367).

The article itself is composed of major headings/entry chapters, sub-headings, various figures, charts, tables, and graphs, side boxes that explain specific parts of the authors’ argument, and a reference section made up of nine primary sources in which the authors examine the quality of health care microsystems, clinical improvement, and paradigms for the health care industry. This article begins with a sort of anecdote which leads into the basic argument or thesis of the eleven authors–that regardless of where health care is delivered, the current body of knowledge and information on clinical microsystems can act as a guide and support for future innovation and peak performance and holds the potential to provide “value for individuals and families by analyzing, managing, improving, and innovating in health care systems” on a global basis (2008, p. 367). In addition, the authors provide clear explanations of their interpretations of clinical microsystems throughout the text via side notes and well-organized main headings and sub-headings.

As to primary sources, this article features several well-received scholarly books on the subject of clinical microsystems and five journal articles with two web-based with Internet URL’s. All of these sources are freely utilized within the text of the article. The most informative sections are the three tables placed near the conclusion with Table 2 standing out–Micro-Meso-Macro (M3) Framework. Also, due to the subject matter, being the future of clinical microsystems as contrasted with the history of these systems, there are no secondary sources.

Overall, this journal article is very well-organized and constructed and provides a convincing argument in relation to the future importance of clinical health care microsystems in the United States and foreign nations. It also extols the importance of tables and charts that highlight the authors’ main thesis or argument which basically informs the reader that clinical microsystems are an essential part of the current health care system and need to be improved upon in the near future.


Nelson, E.C., Godfrey, M.M., Batalden, P.B., Berry, S.A., et al. (2008). Clinical

microsystems, part 1: The building blocks of health systems. The Joint

Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety (34)7, 367-378.

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