Healthcare systems should ensure the provision of high quality healthcare services to the people. A number of healthcare systems exist in the United States and are run by the federal government and the private sector (Sultz & Young, 2005). The stakeholders are usually involved in the planning of the various healthcare systems in order to ensure effective implementation.
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Healthcare systems in the US have witnessed significant changes with the government seeking to ensure universal healthcare provision, particularly when it comes to insurance. This essay discusses the several issues and concepts found in the US healthcare systems.
Public health efforts and those of private medicine complement each other and together serve the spectrum of health service needs of American society. However, the relationship between these key players in the healthcare sector has been so contentious. Most Americans now get publicly available health services although they can still access private services and vice versa (Docteur, 2004). One of the most important differences is the varied patterns of practice between the public and private medical care providers.
Private medicine efforts offer comprehensive and individualized care unlike the public providers. Lack of appropriate facilities, competent staff, and adequate financing have been identified as another contributor of contention between the two medical communities (Sultz & Young, 2005). Also, the private medical community offer services to those who can afford the correspondingly high cost while the poor opt for the public health departments.
The population-based orientation of public health can be contrasted with the individual-centered focus of private health practitioners. Both run as parallel systems which are self-contained and are not linked in any way. Population-based orientation is more focused on prevention of disease and injury while individual-centered is more curative because highly susceptible individuals are identified (Docteur, 2004).
The major goal of all healthcare services is the provision of high quality care to the people. Quality in medical care may be defined as achieving the greatest benefit at the lowest risk. Healthcare systems have made significant efforts to ensure that the allocation of resources and other priorities enhance quality (Cronin, 2004).
The government and private sector have embarked on creating awareness among the people on the need for preventive measures against diseases and other causes of ill health. Prioritizing prevention goes a long way in minimizing the cost of curing diseases and hence ensuring a healthy population.
Medical care should be constantly assessed in order to ensure high-quality service provision. Structure, process, and outcome are some of the key considerations during such assessment. The extent to which any medical care ensures recovery, restoration of good health and chances of survival is what is known as outcome (Sultz & Young, 2005).
Outcome is very crucial when assessing the quality of medical care. Some examples of outcome include mortality (perinatal) rates, surgical fatality rates and the success in restoring clients from psychiatric hospitals into the society.
However, many researchers have concluded that attention should be focused on the process of medical care instead of the outcome (Docteur, 2004). Process has therefore been regarded as another key approach to assess quality of medical care. Examples of what to evaluate include; the appropriateness of services offered, physical as well as diagnostic tests, competence of staff and the general continuity of medical care.
The third way of assessing quality of medical care is to evaluate the settings in which the process of care is carried out (Sultz & Young, 2005). This approach is commonly referred to as structure. This may also include the evaluation of administrative ranks associated to the process of providing care. It includes the assessment of availability of appropriate facilities and technical equipment, fiscal issues, and the organization of the available staff.
Most researchers in the healthcare system receive funding from commercial companies. Concerns of whether the authors should or should not recognize their financiers in the scientific publications have emerged. It is crucial for contributors to be acknowledged in the final publications although this is not as formal as citations (Cronin, 2004). Those who fund researches, therefore, ought to be acknowledged since this will help when it comes to evaluating the efficacy of various sponsored scientific work.
It has been reported by the Institute of Medicine that medical errors are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. This should be regarded as a matter of national importance. The federal government, therefore, should take the necessary steps to monitor the status of this high-risk situation. Trusting the healthcare providers may only worsen the situation.
Quality healthcare should be the top priority of the federal government and the private sector in the United States. The essay has broadly evaluated and discussed the various issues that are being experienced in the American healthcare system. Regulating this industry when necessary will ensure the security of the entire population.
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Cronin, B. G. (2004). Healthcare in the US: financing scientific researches. McGraw-Hill Plc.
Docteur, E. (2004). Developing high-performing healthcare systems: population-based care. OECD Plc.
Sultz, H. A. & Young, K. M. (2005). Health Care USA understanding its organization and delivery (6th ed). Jones & Bartlett Learning