The first important concept identified is program evaluation. As a registered dental hygienist and health system specialist, I must understand how programs are implemented and why they succeed or fail. As a professional, I might establish or implement a program once that will aim to provide positive improvements to my clients’ health status. However, I should also be aware of other studies and research conducted previously to evaluate what consequences my interventions will have and whether such consequences are necessary at all. Program evaluation also helps medical professionals develop their critical thinking skills that can be applied in practice, especially during the decision-making process.
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Since program evaluation is a particular method of research that focuses on gathering, analyzing, and implementing the results of the evaluation to one’s practice, it also helps me understand policy changes and predict their influence on my occupation and clients. One of the major parts of program evaluation is the assessment of the program need, something that is rarely done nowadays, especially with large, well-established programs that might not provide as many benefits as they did before. I believe that program evaluation could make the health system more efficient and cost-effective because it would disclose hidden issues and indicate any gaps that we need to address. However, I would not say that program evaluation of unsuccessful programs is meaningless Using its results, medical professionals and researchers can understand what possible mistakes can be avoided in the preparation of healthcare policies and various patient interventions. The assessment of healthcare policies’ impact on patients provides professionals with information about issues in Medicare and Medicaid. While some of them are difficult to solve single-handedly, I as a health system specialist can advise my patients about any arising issues, concerns, and problems to improve their quality of treatment and life.
Health promotion is one of my major duties as a dental hygienist. The influence of the environment on the efficiency of health promotion is difficult to argue. As I have previously mentioned in one of my papers, the desire to smoke can decrease if employees work in a non-smoking environment. If the patient’s family is apt to consume healthy food, it is also more likely that the patient will engage in these useful activities too. My responsibility as a dental hygienist is to promote healthy lifestyle interventions to patients and explain how they are influenced by the environment we build. One should not neglect institutional and organizational factors that can affect health. For example, if patients’ colleagues often invite him or her to parties where smoking, drinking, and junk food are unavoidable, the patient will likely disrupt the progress of successful lifestyle interventions (diet based on vegetables, exercising, etc.) and choose unhealthy behaviors even if it is prohibited by his or her health advisor. I have worked with such patients; it is difficult to maintain the preference for a healthy lifestyle in a patient whose environment does not encourage him or her to do so.
Health promotion is a vital part of care because it has the potential to significantly improve the overall health rates of the population if it is implemented on an individual, organizational, state, and national levels. As professionals, we are required to provide patients with information that can improve their health, prevent the development of diseases, and determine their future health status.