Health Systems

Health Systems Policy & Management

Good decisions and policies depend on understanding complex systems and effectively engaging the actual decision makers and the appropriate broad groups of stakeholders. We like to keep things simple. However, managing complicated situations requires developing a comprehensive appreciation for the various components of the system and how everything fits (or doesn’t fit) together.

We take the time to learn and develop a solid foundation based on the available evidence. Most importantly, we ask questions, we engage multiple stakeholders to hear their perspectives, mental models, values, and preferences, and we listen carefully to what they tell us. In the context of our collaborations, we often serve as the friendly independent objective analysts who point out areas of stakeholder disagreements. We also tell decision makers what they need to know, even if this means gently telling them things that they may not have expected or many not want to hear. However, knowing about risks allows for better management, which can include taking actions to intervene to prevent harm and/or ensuring transparency such that individuals make informed decisions about risks.

Our experience in leadership roles in hospital laboratories and helping organizations manage children’s risks drives us to focus on issues with real impact, and it allows us to see whole systems. When exploring policies and strategies for making improvements in systems, we consider the trade-offs, including trading one risk for another (i.e., risk-risk) and trading money for risk reduction (i.e., benefit-cost).

In our analyses, we use a range of integrated analytical methods. Our greatest successes come from effectively communicating our insights to the appropriate and often multiple audiences. In some cases, we focus on the technical aspects and we provide well-documented analyses, while in others, we develop specific high-level messages to communicate to the media and broad audiences.

For a more complete look at our previous work in this area, please visit Kid Risk Publications pages.


Hospitals and Healthcare

1. Vanlandingham DM, Hampton W, Thompson KM, Badizadegan K. Modeling pathology workload and complexity to manage risks and improve patient quality and safety. Risk Anal. 2019.

2. Ko G, Thompson KM, Nardell EA. Estimation of tuberculosis risk on a commercial airliner. Risk Anal. 2004;24(2):379-388.

3. Ko G, Burge HA, Nardell EA, Thompson KM. Estimation of tuberculosis risk and incidence under upper room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation in a waiting room in a hypothetical scenario. Risk Anal. 2001;21(4):657-673.

4. Claxton K, Thompson KM. A dynamic programming approach to the efficient design of clinical trials. J Health Econ. 2001;20(5):797-822.

Value of Information Approach

1. Thompson KM, Badizadegan ND. Valuing information in complex systems: an integrated analytical approach to achieve optimal performance in the beer distribution game. IEEE Access. 2015;3:2677-2686.

2. Badizadegan K, Thompson KM. Value of information in nonfocal colonic biopsies. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011;53(6):679-683.

3. de Gourville E, Duintjer Tebbens RJ, Sangrujee N, Pallansch MA, Thompson KM. Global surveillance and the value of information: the case of the global polio laboratory network. Risk Anal. 2006;26(6):1557-1569.

4. Yokota F, Thompson KM. Value of information literature analysis: a review of applications in health risk management. Med Decis Making. 2004;24(3):287-298.

5. Yokota F, Thompson KM. Value of information analysis in environmental health risk management decisions: past, present, and future. Risk Anal. 2004;24(3):635-650.

6. Yokota F, Gray G, Hammitt JK, Thompson KM. Tiered chemical testing: a value of information approach. Risk Anal. 2004;24(6):1625-1639.

7. Thompson KM, Evans JS. The value of improved national exposure Information for perchloroethylene (perc): a case study for dry cleaners. Risk Analysis. 1997;17(2):253-271.

Policy and Economics

1. Ozawa S, Yemeke TT, Thompson KM. Systematic review of the incremental costs of interventions that increase immunization coverage. Vaccine. 2018;36(25):3641-3649.

2. Duintjer Tebbens RJ, Pallansch MA, Cochi SL, Wassilak SG, Thompson KM. An economic analysis of poliovirus risk management policy options for 2013-2052. BMC Infect Dis. 2015;15:389.

3. Hennelly KE, Mannix R, Nigrovic LE, et al. Pediatric traumatic brain injury and radiation risks: a clinical decision analysis. J Pediatr. 2013;162(2):392-397.

4. Wendler D, Belsky L, Thompson KM, Emanuel EJ. Quantifying the federal minimal risk standard: implications for pediatric research without a prospect of direct benefit. JAMA. 2005;294(7):826-832.

Contact us to learn more about our work and expoertise in health systems policy and management.