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Awards - Griffiths Medal

The Griffiths Medal is awarded in recognition of the most outstanding contribution to the philosophy, theory or practice of health systems published in the journal Health Systems within the relevant period.

Citation for Griffiths Medal 2013/2014

Mihail Mihaylov, KU Leuven, Belgium Pieter Smet, KU Leuven, Belgium
Wim Van Den Noortgate, KU Leuven, Belgium Greet Vanden Berghe, KU Leuven, Belgium


Facilitating the transition from manual to automated nurse rostering
Health Systems 5, 120-131

Nurses form a major part of any hospital workforce and deploying them efficiently is a key managerial task. Producing good rosters for nursing staff is a crucial but challenging part of achieving their efficient deployment. The paper takes an innovative systemic approach to real world rostering by considering some crucial but often overlooked wider factors that inhibit the implementation of automated rostering systems: the resource and other costs of change from manual rostering. It presents an ingenious analytical approach to reduce these transition barriers, by automating key elements of the change process itself. The paper describes the development and use of an analytical method that can infer, from past schedules, priorities for meeting different objectives of rosters and thus avoid the need for their manual input, which forms a significant part of the effort in a changeover to automated rostering. The method was developed in close liaison with senior hospital nurses and has been tested and validated by them, and can produce results that are both consistent with their objectives and superior to those from manual rostering. In keeping with its focus on implementation challenges, the method is being implemented in a hospital setting and has been incorporated into commercial rostering software. The paper is clearly written and is accessible to non-specialists.

Citation for Griffiths Medal 2013/2014

Holly O. Witteman, Quebec, Canada
James E. Stahl, Dartmouth, USA


Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle complex problems in health care: report from an exploratory workshop. 
Health Systems, 2, 162–170

This innovative paper presents a disciplined exploration of four very different workshop techniques for facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration for solving complex problems in healthcare. Using case studies of typical complex, intractable, healthcare problems it highlights a number of important but often inadequately recognised aspects of health systems work, particularly the need to allow for different perspectives, to integrate analytical and design approaches to problem structuring and solving, and to exploit visual and other aids to creativity. The work has already been applied and the tools should help a range of professionals in both the Health IiS and the OR community enhance their capability to tackle complex problems in health care.