Networks are the most important competitive advantage in business organizations, and together with the University of Chicago we are taking this science over to medical care. Social Network Analysis – more commonly known as SNA – enables our collaborator, ImproveCareNow, to better organize the networks of clinicians who deliver care for kids with IBD.
Analysis of networks becomes powerful because it serves as a proxy for accessing control over information in an organization. Most human organizations are little clusters of people, working in the same unit. Within the clusters, people develop similar ways of thinking and practice; and the more connected they are, the more they drive out variation. They even make up jargon and buzz words, and have an unwritten understanding of how to do things in the group. When a person (or node in the cluster) has a bridge (or tie) that joins them to another cluster, they can systematically introduce variation into a cluster.
SNA will provide clinicians at ImproveCareNow care centers a better understanding of how they interact with one another, and obtain different types of information regarding clinical and professional practice. And with that, build our understanding of the role of networks in spreading changes.