Summarize the issue to be addressed
The existing pain management strategies are characterized by a certain rigidity that is rather harmful to patients as it results in poor health outcomes. Healthcare professionals tend to focus on pharmacology when treating pain and miss out on various other practices that have proved to be efficient. The practices that are still underestimated include massage, acupuncture, yoga, and so on.
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Provide basic background to help others understand the issue
Researchers note that the historical and cultural peculiarities of the USA have shaped the way pain is regarded and managed. Americans have always believed in the scientific approach and science, technology, and progress. The great belief in pharmacology is the result of such ideas. In simple terms, American doctors often see pain as a symptom that should be treated with the help of particular drugs. Nevertheless, people of other cultures have a different approach and often use various measures to treat pain. For instance, Native Americans have used herbal treatment for centuries. Asian people have resorted to such practices as well, but they have also used acupuncture, yoga, massage, and other practices that are seen as rather complementary and less effective. At the same time, Americans still suffer from pain as drugs do not relieve their pain in many cases. Some healthcare facilities have started using the integrative approach that has proved to be effective. The approach implies the creation of interprofessional teams that include people of different backgrounds, ages, ethnicity, gender, and perspectives on pain management.
Describe the proposed intervention and what it might look like in a demonstration project
The use of the integrative approach can be the solution to the existing problem. The intervention may involve the development of interprofessional teams in Long-Term Acute Care (LTAC) hospitals. Clearly, in acute healthcare units, the focus on pharmacology is justified since patients are in pain that can be aggravated by the treatment aimed at addressing their health issues. The teams will provide clinical services, alternative treatment services as well as psychological support. The intervention will be divided into four stages.
- Preliminary Activities. At this stage, healthcare facilities will be addressed and offered to participate in the project. Five hospitals in different parts of the USA will be chosen. It is essential to include facilities that are in different states so that different social, economic, and political factors were involved. It is also important to make sure that at least two hospitals located in underprivileged communities will be a part of the project. This will make the results of the project more relevant. At this stage, various self-reporting forms for the major stakeholders (healthcare professionals (members of interprofessional teams) and patients) will be developed.
- Preparatory Stage. At this stage, training and hiring will take place. HR specialists will select licensed professionals who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to provide services associated with such practices as acupuncture, massage, yoga. Furthermore, healthcare professionals already employed will be encouraged to receive certain training to become a part of interprofessional teams.
- Implementation. At this stage, interprofessional teams will be created. The teams will help the patient to soothe the pain. Team members will also teach patients some pain management strategies. Observation and collection of data (serf-reporting forms) will be carried out at this stage.
- Evaluation. The evaluation will involve the analysis of self-reporting surveys completed by the involved healthcare professionals and patients as well as some statistics (for example, health outcomes).
The budget of the intervention will be $1,500,000 million.
- Preliminary activities: $10,000.
- Training: $450,000.
- Salaries (healthcare professionals’ bonuses for the participation and additional HR units): $1,000,000.
- Data Collection and Analysis: $40,000.
Provide a brief rationale using systems concepts
This intervention can be a pilot project that will dramatically change the US healthcare system making it more efficient. People’s well-being (which includes physical, psychological, and emotional well-being) should be the core value of the healthcare system. Effective pain management is an essential element of this system. Individuals will leave hospitals with the necessary skills to manage pain. This will make the US communities healthier as people living without pain have fewer concerns, better psychological and emotional states. The healthcare system will be improved as one of the important aspects of health will be addressed. It has been acknowledged that funds allocated to US healthcare are substantial, but health outcomes are still insufficient. Investment into the integrative approach can make the healthcare system more cost-effective.
Describe how it might address one or more of the course themes
The major focus of this treatment is, of course, patient experience as it aims to help patients to soothe pain and teach them to live without pain (or, at least, minimize it). It is also necessary to add that patients’ psychological and emotional states will be improved as they will receive the necessary psychological support during their stay in the facility. Finally, patients’ satisfaction will increase as they will receive high-quality services that will result in positive health outcomes.
- The intervention can also be regarded as a step in the further understanding of benefits, peculiarities, and some flaws of the interprofessional practice.
- The intervention will also address some issues associated with equity. Patients having financial issues often have no (or limited) access to high-quality healthcare services. This project will involve, at least, two underprivileged communities.