Changing the Landscape of Health Care

Changingthe Landscapeof HealthCare

Changingthe Landscapeof HealthCare

Thehealthcaresectorhas experiencedunpredictable,diverse,andrapidchangeswithin thelastone decade. Someof thedriversof reformsand changehavebeenthetechnological advancesanda myriad of challengesthatthestakeholders in thissectorshould addressin orderto enhancetheprocessof servicedelivery(Health Equity, 2015).Inaddition,theneedto addressemergingchallenges(suchas pressureon lackof access,cost,andquality),developinnovative solutions,andimprovevaluechainhas forcedthestakeholders in thehealthcareindustryto embracethenewshifts.Thispaperwill addresstheshiftsthat are takingplacein thehealthcaresector,currentas wellas thepotentialchallengesthat thestakeholders in thehealthcaresectorshould address,andwaysin which thehealthcareis handlingthesechallenges.

Shiftstakingplace

Thereare manyshiftsthat are takingplacein thehealthcareindustry,butthree of them are likelyto influencethewayservicesaredeliveredandclientinteract with thehealthcareproviders andfacilities.First,healthcareproviders andhealthcarefacilitiesare continuallyacceptingthatfactthatsocialmedianetworksare significanttoolsthat facilitatetheinteractionbetween theclientsandhealthcareproviders. Accordingto Thielst (2013) socialmedia is currently servingas an opportunityforpeopleto improvetheir knowledgeas wellas theabilityto takecareofthemselves andtheonline communityhas beenattractingbroaderandolderaudience.Thisimpliesthatpatientsof allagegroupsandwalksof lifecan nowlookforhealthcareknowledgeusingthesocialmedia sites.

Secondly,trendsindicatethatthehealthcaresectoris shiftingfrom thebusinessmodelsto patient-centered models.Thehealthcareprovidersare appreciatingtheimportanceof partnering with clientsandtheir familieswith theobjectiveof identifyingas wellas satisfyingthefullrangeof clientneedsandpreferences(Picker Institute, 2014). Thisimpliesthattheprimaryobjectiveof healthcaredeliveryis thesatisfactionof theclientandnot financialgains.

Third,patientprotectionandparticipationin thehealthcaredecision-makingprocessare currenttrendsthat areintegratedwiththelegalsystem.Forexample,thePPAHA&nbspgivepatientstheopportunityto selectthehealthcareproviders of their choicefrom their respectivenetworks(Lalli, 2013). Thisimpliesthattheprincipleof patients’autonomyis gainingsignificancein thehealthcaresector.Thisgoeshandin handwith theneedto enhancethesafetyof patientsandprotectionof their privacy.

Currentandpotentialchallenges

Thereare two majorcurrentchallengesaffectingthehealthcaresector.Thefirstchallengeis thelargenumberof unnecessarycare,which accountsforabout halfof thetotalcostof healthcare.Accordingto Binder(2013)unnecessarycarehas resultedin overuse of healthcareservices,which coststheU.S. economyamountsin billionsof dollarseachyear.Someexamplesof unnecessarycareincludeself-referral,over-treatment in ICU forendof lifewhenthefamilyhas an alternative care,useof brand-name pharmaceutical productswhengenerics can do,andconductingunnecessarylab tests.Theseserviceshaveinflatedthecostof careandtheyare theunderlying causesof thehotdebateon escalatingcostof health.

Thesecondchallengeis theincreasein therateof occurrenceof preventable harmto patients.Forexample,at leastone out of four beneficiariesof Medicarewhoareadmittedtohealthcarefacilitiessuffersfrom differentformsof harmduring their admission(Binder, 2013). Thesamestudyindicatedthatkidswhoarebornat 37-39 weekgestationare at a highriskof death.Althougha keenfocuson patientsafetyis one of thecurrenttrends,avoidable harmsare rampantin thehealthcaresystem.

Theincreasein theappropriationof technology in thehealthcaresectorcreatestwo potentialchallenges.First,theuseof electronichealthrecordsincreasestheriskof data breachsince computer-based recordscan beaccessedby unauthorizedpersons,includingthehackers (Scgultz, 2012). Thiswill resultin theviolationof client’srightto privacy.Secondly,theincreasein theuseof socialmediaas a sourceof healthcareinformationmightresultin theuseof unreliableinformation.Thisis becausepatientsmay not havesufficientknowledgeto assessthecredibilityof theinformationposted on thesesites.

Howhealthcaresystemis handlingchallenges

Challengesin thehealthsectoraremainlyaddressedthrough research.Forexample,thelatesttechnologies are identifiedandtestedbefore beingimplementedin thehealthcaresector(Huckman, 2013). Therefore,researchin thehealthcaresectoris a significanttoolusedin addressingemergingthecurrentaswellas theemerging challenges.In addition,invitingtheparticipationorcontributionthestakeholders in theformulation of legislations(suchas PPAHA)andpolicieshavecontributedtowards to theidentificationof viable solutionsto currentchallenges.Thisisachievedthrough publicdebatesandforumsthat createa platformforstakeholders in thehealthcaresectorto airtheir opinions.

Conclusion

Thelandscapeof healthcare has beenchangingdrastically, especiallywithin thelastone decade. Technological advancesandpolicychangesare someof thekeyfactorsdrivingthehealthreform.Thetwo factorshavehelpedthestakeholders in thehealthcaresectorto addressthecurrentandemergingchallenges.Theuseof socialsitesin thehealthcaresectoris one of themostcommonshifts,butitpresentssomechallengessince its is difficultforusers of socialsitesdeterminethelevel of credibilityof theinformationtheyreadfrom thesesites.Thisimpliesthatthecurrentshiftsshould be addressedwithcareto avoidintroducingnewchallengesin thehealthcaresector.

References

Binder,L. (2013, February 21). The five biggest problems in health caretoday. Forbes.Retrieved February 21, 2015, fromhttp://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-08-2013/affordable-care-act-health-benefits.html

HealthEquity (2015). Significant policy and operation changes in the healthcare sector. HealthEquity.Retrieved February 21, 2015, fromhttp://www.euregio3.eu/pages/pages/practical-knowledge-database/theoretical-background/significant-trends-and-factors/significant-policy-and-operation-changes-healthcare-sector/

Huckman,S. (2013). Imperatives:Addressing health care’s innovative challenges.Boston, MA: Harvard Business School.

Lalli,F. (2013). The health care laws 10 essential benefits. AARP.Retrieved February 21, 2015, fromhttp://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-08-2013/affordable-care-act-health-benefits.html

PickerInstitute (2014). About patient-centered improvement guide. PickerInstitute.Retrieved February 21, 2015, fromhttp://www.patient-centeredcare.org/inside/abouttheguide.html

Scgultz,D. (2012, June 3). As patients’ records go digital, theft andhacking problems grow. KaiserHealth News.Retrieved February 21, 2015, fromhttp://kaiserhealthnews.org/news/electronic-health-records-theft-hacking/

Thielst,C. (2013). Socialmedia in health care: Connect, communicate, and collaborate (2nded.).Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.

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