It has been acknowledged that there can be several types of access to healthcare. A model health policy would promote realized, effective and efficient access. Realized access is concerned with the use of service. Effective access is associated with health outcomes (patient satisfaction, quality of life, and health status), and efficient access is related to the cost-effectiveness of health services (Kominski, 2013). It is possible to note that there are various problems in all three areas in the US healthcare system. At that, the US health policy focuses on realized access trying to ensure efficient access as well. The major problem the American healthcare system faces is related to effective access.
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The American healthcare system is characterized by the use of the most advanced technologies and methods. However, it still fails to ensure patient satisfaction or even proper health outcomes. The high mortality rates associated with such diseases as cardiovascular disorders or diabetes (as well as many other illnesses) show that health outcomes are inappropriate. The high rate of medical errors, quite long waiting times, costly services harm patient satisfaction. Tsai, Orav, and Jha (2015) state that patient satisfaction is often regarded as an unreliable measurement. Some believe that people tend to focus on concierge services rather than the effectiveness of particular treatment or procedures. However, the researchers stress that patient satisfaction is associated with the quality (and efficiency) of the healthcare services provided, which means that effective access should become a priority.
Moreover, the primary biblical principles are incorporated into any healthcare system to help people. Such values as empathy, kindness, care, and support are proclaimed central to health care, but there are many gaps in this area. Nursing professionals could become the change agents who address this gap. These healthcare professionals effectively interact with patients and understand their needs. Nurses can and should try to improve patient satisfaction and encourage other healthcare professionals to pay more attention to effective access.
Unfortunately, the upcoming changes to ACA are unlikely to change the focus of the system. The new health policy will concentrate on realized and efficient access. Analysts believe that the new ACA will be associated with a lesser burden on business and high-income individuals and certain cuts (Wiebe, 2017). President Trump and his team focus on efficient and realized access. Such issues as patient satisfaction, public health, and the nation’s overall wellbeing are not in the spotlight.
Moreover, there are high chances that even less attention will be paid to effective access as it requires a specific investment. To improve health outcomes and ensure patient satisfaction, it is essential to address such issues as healthcare professionals’ shortage, workload, insufficient training, etc. Additional funds are unlikely to be allocated. Therefore, effective access is likely to remain a significant problem in the US healthcare system.
On balance, it is possible to note that the system’s most urgent problem is effective access. Such areas as health outcomes, public health, and patient satisfaction obtain little attention and are likely to remain marginal. The expected changes in the ACA will not improve the situation. Policymakers still concentrate on costs and the effectiveness of healthcare services. Therefore, nursing professionals should become change agents who will draw people’s attention to the problem and increase effective access.
Kominski, G. F. (2013). Changing the US health care system: Key issues in health services policy and management. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Tsai, T., Orav, E., & Jha, A. (2015). Patient satisfaction and quality of surgical care in US hospitals. Annals of Surgery, 261(1), 2-8.
Wiebe, C. (2017). ACA changes to be limited and slow, experts say. Medscape Medical News. Web.