Posted: September 4th, 2022
Health care in the United States is arguably very complex and bears little resemblance to a “true system”. How can the United States improve on the five dimensions of performance (quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives)?
Evaluating the health care sector is quite challenging and complex. Unsatisfactory performance can result from long waiting times, inefficiency, unsatisfied patients, and health care workers’ burnout. Quality in healthcare is another kind of elephant, with different structures and continuously moving parts of assessment, measurement, and performance that change over time. Patient experiences and perceptions, though very important, are not stand-alone measures of quality in healthcare. Access to healthcare can be improved by making sure that it is affordable to everyone and not something that is going to be difficult to achieve. The US can designate more money to put towards healthcare and making sure that the prices are reasonable for even the low to middle class. The healthcare sector is experiencing constant innovation. As spending has increased in recent years, many healthcare budgets are being channeled towards eliminating barriers and improving the deliverability of services.
Hospitals and other medical organizations are investing mostly in adopting new technology to tackle such issues. But going beyond technology, organizations will also need to underscore more practical methods of improving the accessibility of advanced diagnostic and treatment procedures. Indeed, technology shouldn’t be the only remedy for the healthcare sector’s most pressing problems as many of them have a lot to do with the human side of healthcare (Hope, 2021). Some of the other ways in which health care equity and quality can be improved is to invest in public health infrastructure, address the opioid and substance use epidemic, mitigate climate change and invest in environmental justice, reduce poverty and improve economic stability, improve education access and quality, improve access to affordable, stable, inclusive, healthy, climate-resilient housing, improve health care access and quality, reinforce social connections and community safety, and advance racial equity and inclusive policies.
:Hope, D. (2021). 5 Strategies For Improving Healthcare Efficiency. Health Works Collective. Retrieved 31 August 2022, from https://www.healthworkscollective.com/5-strategies-for-improving-healthcare-efficiency/.
Top 10 Ways To Improve Health and Health Equity. Center for American Progress. (2022). Retrieved 31 August 2022, from https://www.americanprogress.org/article/top-10-ways-to-improve-health-and-health-equity/.
Population, Health, Epidemiology & Statistical Principles
Improving on the five dimensions of performance can be viewed on both a macro and a micro level, as something that will require systemic change of the entire healthcare system and as something the country can impart significant change. For example, the United States’ health regulations might be improved, and the healthcare sector could drastically enhance healthcare quality by mandating practitioners to utilize patient-centered EHRs that are easily available to all care providers and patients (Siva & Gremyr, 2018).
To enhance the quality of healthcare in the U.S. it might be important to maintain the patient quality care and access to care for the vulnerable population. The U.S. can improve on efficiency by monitoring individual patients’ health, results, general wellness, and costs over the whole continuum of treatment using EHRs, outcomes studies, patient satisfaction surveys, and other data sources (Garvare & Johansson, 2017). The Quality Payment Program, the National Quality Forum, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality all publish evidence-based guidelines and measures that the U.S. can use to make informed decisions about equity and healthy lives.
Garvare, R. & Johansson, P. (2017). Management quality improvement: A stakeholder theory. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 21(7), 737–744.
Siva, V. & Gremyr, I. (2018). The support of quality management to sustainable development: A literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 13(8), 148–157.
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