What is a Microsystem?

  • Microsystems are the building blocks of the healthcare system. 
  • They are the small functional frontline units that provide most health care to most people. 
  • They are the place where patients and the care teams meet. 

A microsystem includes not only the multidisciplinary team who work together to deliver that care, but the supporting staff (clerical, ancillary, etc.) who help them, the patients, and the families who benefit from that care.  The context is important, and the environment and information that teams use are also part of the microsystem.

Supporting microsystems also exist, such as Pharmacy, Estates and IT. They are microsystems in their own right but also stakeholders in many other microsystems. 

The quality and value of care produced by a large health system can be no better than the services generated by the small systems (microsystems) of which it is composed.

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