HealthCare today, is it working?
Fordecades, insurance companies and politicians could merrily proclaimthat United States had excellent health care system in the wholeworld, but as its main shortcomings become more perceptible andvisible Americans are getting it difficult to merely accept thisproposition. Over forty million Americans do not have healthinsurance and thus, they are aware of the fact that our health careis no longer working for everybody, and there is increasingrecognition that most problems includes up surging costs andinaccessibility of the health care, which forms a real health carecrisis. Therefore, the paper aims to determine whether the currenthealth care system is working.
Thereare several factors that may be used to determine if our currenthealth care system is working. It has been reported that the UnitedStates’ health care system is the most expensive in the world.There are several reasons behind the rising cost of health caresystem in the United States. These includes but not restricted tohigher costs of medical technology, prescription of drugs, and highadministrative costs. The higher cost of the health care can beattributed to the complexity of the payer system. Additionally, theshifting of non-profit health care to for-profit health careproviders has greatly contributed to the rising costs of health care.There is higher percentage of population living without health careinsurance the fact that has greatly contribute to high cost heathcare since conditions that could be either treated or prevented atlow cost in initial stages frequently build up into health crisis.Furthermore, treatment of health care conditions such as intensivecare or emergency treatment, in later stages, is more expensive whenuntreated disease develops into a more serious one. The agingpopulation is also contributing in a way to the increasing costs ofhealth care (Greenwald 18).
Equallysignificantly, the issue of accessibility to the health care servicesis another factor to consider. Inequitable access to health careoccurs when enabling resources and social characteristics such asincome or ethnicity is used as a basis of determining who will getmedical care. Therefore, fair access to the health care services isthe value judgment that the entire health care system is regarded asequitable when need-based criteria are major determinants of whoshould access health care. However, there is a proposition thatUnited States is among the developed countries that does not provideaccessible health care for all members of the public. Instead, thereis an existence of a bewildering jumble of private insurance policieswhich are based on employment, together with public insurancepolicies for Medicare, veterans, the military, and for the disabledand poor (Harris 15). Such a system establishes a huge gap in healthinsurance coverage making it inaccessible for most people. Althoughthere has been an attempt to promoting social justice in health caresystem for underinsured and uninsured persons through development ofhealth care policies such as community clinics, hospitals, and othersupportive programs, the policies have not so far satisfactorilybridged the gap created by the social injustices (Afifi 33).
Moreover,due to rising rates of health care insurance, most of employers arecompelled to either discard their health insurance benefits ingeneral or forced to raise deductibles and premiums. It is muchembarrassing to policy makers that the country do not have auniversal coverage, but much more seriously, it a life or deathmatter for people who do not have access to the health care.Therefore, the lack health care insurance coverage for a greaterproportion of the population results in deeply-felt consequences,since health care providers and hospitals are compelled into costshifting, at the taxpayers’ expense, and higher insurance premiumsfor those people who possess private insurance coverage (Quadagno169).
Additionally,there are several indicators of general health status of the peoplesuch as life expectancy and infant mortality rates. In United States,there is uneven distribution of life expectancy among disabilitiessince most of them do not have easy access to the health care such aspreventive care. Furthermore, there exists unjust system offinancing that has negative affected most of the people, especiallyfor those people who are underinsured or uninsured, and for the poor.According to WHO, the effects of health care failures is much moresevere on the people living below the poverty line, and they arefurther affected due to lack of enough financial shield againstill-health (Edelman, Carol & Elizabeth 48).
Ourcurrent health care system is highly complicated, and medicationshave so multiplied that over twenty thousand orders are propagatedeach day on the units of inpatients of urban hospitals (Wolf, Heath &Mark 107). Therefore, the healthcare environment is characterized bywidespread potential errors. However, there are more emergingclinical information systems and other technological innovations thatimprove safety, decrease paperwork and offer nurses withopportunities on care-giving. Technological innovations allowphysicians and nurses to treat patients more quickly and withprecision of the highest order. Moreover, research and development ofnew-fangled medications and treatments help health care providers tomanage initially untreatable diseases effectively. Nevertheless,technologies in health care are considerably expensive, andconsequently, insurance companies are striving hard to help cover thecosts. Regardless of the higher costs involved, health care cannot beforegone. The health care institutions which have employedtechnological innovations such as automated drug-dispensing facilityand electronic medical records have achieved nurse retention,satisfaction and productivity, as well as reducing the chances ofhealth care errors. Additionally, the health care institutions thathave adopted such technologies, its health care workforce spend fewertotal times per shift on the process of medication administration.Other technologies, for example, bar coding and scanning, reduce timespent by the nurses on the supply of documentation and management,and enhance efficient and safe medication administration, even whenthere are shortages of ancillary and pharmacy personnel (Ciampa, Mark& Mark 28).
However,while health care workforce has more to gain from technologicalinnovations, nurse management or executives and unit staffs arerarely involved in the purchasing decision-making processes.Therefore, this aspect disregards the capability of the health careinstitution to optimize its benefit from investment in technology.Additionally, the health care system has retrogressed compared toother prevailing systems when it comes to the information technologyadoption. If the information management systems are adopted by thehealth care institutions, it may help in reducing workers’turnover, reduction of error, and productivity gains. For the currentgenerations born in the “Information Age,” cannot work properlywithout the support of information technology (Lyn 12).
Besidesthe paperwork and administrative burdens in which health care bear,they are everyday exposed to risks their personal safety and health.Healthcare workers encounter job-related injuries, chronic fatigue,physical assaults and back injuries. A study by the VHA suggestedthat among nurses, health care executives and physicians, were deemedas a significant concern at hospitals and thus, disturbing behaviorcontributed to the dissatisfaction and demoralization of theworkforce (Klaus, James & Leong 368). However, there is reportedlittle disagreement between health care staffs and the outcomes ofthe patients. This is because nurses are on the front line insurveillance of the patient conditions – monitoring conditions anddetecting problems.
Inconclusion, there are numerous challenges facing the health caresystem such as limited health care accessibility, high costs,effectiveness, and fairness in providing good health care.Additionally, there are other contentious issues that contribute toour heightening health care crisis. These contentious issues includesbut not restricted to diminishing patient choices, increased managedcare companies that have control in health care-based decisions thatrestrict access to health care, the quality of health care, and thechallenges in nursing professions. Therefore, it is crystal clearthat the continuing problems have no possibility of being solvedsince our current health care system does not have a creative andthorough overhaul. The work environment can be improved throughredesigning to improve work processes, effective scheduling andstaffing, adoption of ergonomic and information technologies, andequally significantly, work environment cultures that value, rewardand empower health care workers. Equally importantly, staffing goalsshould acknowledge the realities of current health care environmentthat tolerates substandard health care and failure to attain peakdemands. Therefore, this essay has clearly and elaborately shown thatour current health care is no longer working for everybody.
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