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[ANSWERED] Public health efforts and those of private medicine complement each other and together serve the spectrum of health service needs of American society.

Module 6 Assignment:

Professional Development Assignments:

  1. Public health efforts and those of private medicine complement each other and together serve the spectrum of health service needs of American society. Why, then, has their relationship been so contentious?

  2. The Institute of Medicine report of 1999 cites two major studies that establish medical errors as one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Should the federal government take the necessary steps to monitor the status of this high-risk situation, as it does with other epidemics, or should the government continue to trust the providers of health care to deal forthrightly with the problem?

  3. Analyze why legislative attempts to address only one of the trio of rising costs, lack of universal access, or variable quality of health care only worsens the remaining two.

Please submit one APA formatted paper between 1000 – 1500 words, not including the title and reference page. The assignment should have a minimum of two scholarly sources, in addition to the textbook.

Required Source:

Sultz, H. A., & Young, K. A. (2017). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (9th ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett. (Chapter 11).

Expert Answer and Explanation

            In a time when the healthcare sector is constantly evolving, more and more issues emerge, which calls for a thorough analysis of those issues and available solutions to be reached to improve the level of services offered. One of the issues observed is the disconnect and contentious relationship between public health efforts and private medicine. The two ideally should be working in tandem with one another, to better the health outcomes of the public. The challenge of reducing the number of medical errors, which has been cited as one of the leading causes of disability and mortality, is one that has also received public limelight and should be addressed. Another emerging issue has been the single approach used by the government to healthcare instead of the prescribed triple aim model. This paper will analyze the three issues in detail with the aim of providing insight and direction on how to improve the delivery of healthcare services going forward.

Public-private partnership in health

            As earlier alluded, both public health efforts and private medicine should have a single focus of improving the health conditions of the public. They should not only focus on treating patients of the various ailments, rather promote good health behaviors that will prevent the occurrence of various preventable medical issues faced by patients (Waldman & Terzic, 2019). However, the goal of working together by the two wings involved in the provision of healthcare had been derailed by the antagonistic and contentious relationship between the two.

One of the key factors which have led to the kind of relationship currently being witnessed is the overlapping interest of stakeholders both in public and the private healthcare sector (Sultz & Young, 2017). Due to divergent interests more so monetary and the overall contextual outlook of the healthcare industry as a whole, the players in both the public and private healthcare sectors have failed to agree on the best approach of improving the health spectrum of the American society. Representation in some of the national decision-making institutions has been of the contributing factor to the misalignment of interest, which later results in conflicts between the two parties (Sultz & Young, 2017). By allowing adequate and unbiased representation from both parties in some of the decision-making organs, the issue of conflicting interests can be solved. In general, it can be said that both parties need to come up with proper mechanisms that can facilitate the alignment of their interests to achieve a common objective.

Another area of contention that strains the establishment of unified efforts towards improving the health outcomes of the American public is how resources are being allocated and utilized and the source of the required resources. Many private institutions may be unwilling to commit their resources to carry out programs such as community health promotions. Instead, they would channel their resources for the improvement of their internal structures. As such, the primary care programs, for example, instead of being carried out jointly by all players, it is only left to public health facilities. Since the health interests of the population are supposed to be given priority, alternative sources of funding should be considered to finance universal health programs such as community health initiatives (Jakovljevic, Groot & Souliotis, 2016). This will ultimately channel all players to a common purpose of improving the health of individuals from all levels, more so those coming from vulnerable groups.

Dealing with medical errors

            Medical errors, as cited by numerous studies, is a leading cause of disability and death in the United States (Makary & Daniel, 2016). It is a menace that needs to be evaluated to improve the level of confidence held by the nation on health care systems in place. Medical errors emanate from various sources, with some being preventable while others being accidental. A regulatory mechanism should therefore be considered to reduce the occurrence of such errors.

The medical errors which occur arise due to several diverse factors. The source and cause and type of medical error will determine the interventive measure to be taken to prevent similar errors from occurring. There have been efforts to try and curb the occurrence of medical errors in hospitals, including by use of technology. Acording to Makary & Daniel (2016), technology has improved the level of precision in most medical tasks; as a result, substantially reducing the number of errors. However, there are instances where certain technologies or by-products of new technologies (such as medication) have been deployed without sufficient conclusive data on the effects on patient outcomes. In some cases, technology comes with defects from the manufacturer, which, instead of helping facilitate medical tasks, the defects lead to the commission of medical errors. In such cases, it is the role of the federal government to come in and ensure that sufficient testing has been done to confirm the applicability of a given technology. They can do so through the various regulatory institutions mandated to ensure high medical standards are met,

Medical errors emanating from within the hospitals or other healthcare facilities first need to be evaluated by the internal evaluation and control mechanisms of those facilities. It is a good practice for healthcare facilities to continually improve. One aspect of improvement is putting in place systems and mechanisms whose main aim will be to reduce the number of medical errors to a bare minimum. By doing so, interventions from the federal government will rarely be needed. That being the case, it can be said that, in as much as the federal government needs to come in at some point to regulate and deal with this issue, a multisectoral approach should be considered to reduce the number of patient injuries and mortality emanating from medical errors (Shojania & Dixon-Woods, 2017).

Triple aim model to healthcare

            The triple aim model in healthcare considers three essential aspects that affect the experience of patients when accessing healthcare services. Those three aspects are rising health care costs, lack of universal access, and variation of quality in the provision of healthcare services. Whittington et al. (2017), indicate that the three elements in the triple aim model should be applied simultaneously since they are interlinked, whereby neglecting one factor affects the others. When the legislature fails to look at the three aspects from a holistic perspective, in the long run, they will be running in circles without providing any tangible solution to improving the experience of patients when receiving healthcare services.

Taking the aspect of healthcare cost; this is a feature which dictates both the quality and the accessibility of health services (Mery et al.,2017). However, by increasing the fiscal allocation of healthcare alone will not guarantee an improvement in the two remaining aspects. The US government, for example, has been for a long time, increasing the allocation of funds to healthcare. However, marginal improvements in quality of care accorded to patients have been reported.

The quality of healthcare services offered to patients in most cases varies with the amount spent. However, with improved quality of care given, the amount of costs spent on health care will drastically go down since the rate of disease recurrence will drastically go down. With quality care, patients are likely to receive health solutions that are going to last longer, thereby reducing the need for recurrent medical services to deal with the same or subsequent health issues. Therefore, quality can be said to go hand in hand with cost.

When looking at universal coverage, this is an aspect that is highly dependent on the other two. Universal coverage is dependent on the allocation of enough resources towards ensuring that even the vulnerable populations are covered. Its success is also reliant on the quality of services accorded across the health spectrum.  Likewise, by removing the aspect of universal coverage, patients, more so from the vulnerable populations, will find it a burden to afford quality healthcare services (Mery et al.,2017).

Conclusion

            In conclusion, it can be said that dealing with health issues should be looked at from a holistic perspective. All stakeholders should come together to improve the quality of healthcare services offered to the nation, with proper systems being put in place to facilitate harmonious cooperation and coordination between them. Elimination of individual interest for the common good should always be a priority for all players in the healthcare industry.

References

Jakovljevic, M., Groot, W., & Souliotis, K. (2016). Health care financing and affordability in the emerging global markets. Frontiers in public health4, 2.

Makary, M. A., & Daniel, M. (2016). Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US. Bmj353, i2139.

Mery, G., Majumder, S., Brown, A., & Dobrow, M. J. (2017). What do we mean when we talk about the triple aim? A systematic review of evolving definitions and adaptations of the framework at the health system level. Health Policy121(6), 629-636.

Shojania, K. G., & Dixon-Woods, M. (2017). Estimating deaths due to medical error: the ongoing controversy and why it matters. BMJ Qual Saf26(5), 423-428.

Sultz, H. A., & Young, K. A. (2017). Health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery (9th ed.). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.

Waldman, S., & Terzic, A. (2019). Health Care Evolves from Reactive to Proactive. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics105(1), 10-13.

Whittington, J. W., Nolan, K., Lewis, N., & Torres, T. (2015). Pursuing the triple aim: the first 7 years. The Milbank Quarterly93(2), 263-300.

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