Using simplified Chaos Theory to manage nursing services.
AIMS: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the part simplified chaos theory could play in the management of nursing services. BACKGROUND: As nursing care becomes more complex, practitioners need to become familiar with business planning and objective time management. There are many time-limited methods that facilitate this type of planning but few that can help practitioners to forecast the end-point outcome of the service they deliver. METHODS: A growth model was applied to a specialist service to plot service trajectory. RESULTS: Components of chaos theory can play a role in forecasting service outcomes and consequently the impact upon the management of such services. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING MANAGEMENT: The ability to (1) track the trajectory of a service and (2) manipulate that trajectory by introducing new variables can allow managers to forward plan for service development and to evaluate the effectiveness of a service by plotting its end-point state.