Health professionals in a network and balance

I was thinking of the effect that maximizing ties in a network (density) could possibly reduce with a large number of clinicians in the network who may not serve as bridges to the non-medical alters. In its most simple terms, density in an egocentric network is a measure of the success of optimizing the number of ties available to an ego. Waste not, want not. The ego is connected to everyone else (alters) then density is an “alter connectiveness” measure (Snoke and Yang, 2007, p.53). Could the aspect of power in the doctor-patient relationship upend the desire for “balance” both structurally and cognitively that egos forge in a network? While there may be differences in doctors’ aptitude at bedside manner, an imbalance away from patient-centered care (as Utopia) leaves the power in the hands of the provider. I think that we would all agree that we must acknowledge that ties with a provider may be positive or negative. We love. We de-friend. Structures live precariously on an edge needing balance. Thoughts?

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This is an archive of the Orgcomplexity Blog. Please follow me at the following sites: mbattlefisher.wix.com/orgcomplexity Michele Battle-Fisher (Facebook author page) www.linkedin.com/in/mbattlefisher mbattlefisher (Twitter) michele.battle.fisher (Skype) Author Website http://amazon.com/author/michelebattlefisher

2 thoughts on “Health professionals in a network and balance

  1. It’s never particularly obvious what increasing network density will do, IMHO: as density increases, various other attributes need not always move in a consistent direction.

  2. While that may be the case, each alter holds a societal label that may in itself designate power over the doctor-patient relationship. Doctor over patient…The idiom of the small town doctor is clearly a relic of the past. A primary care doc most likely is not embedded in the community of his or her patient. If a patient has few ties that they may have daily contact with such as friends and neighbors, how might this effect QOL as illness is navigated by living through it outside of the doctor’s office? Thanks Tony for the thoughtful reply.

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