NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

Analysis of Current Healthcare Issue: Limited Access to Health Care

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

Disparities in ethnicity, sex, disability, age, race, geographical location, and socioeconomic status, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] (2021), are the major barriers to people’s access to good healthcare in the United States. Low-income countries have had similar problems. For example, Zegeye et al. (2021) found that money, distance to healthcare facilities, gender, and level of education are the most significant barriers to quality healthcare in Benin. In this way, the problem of healthcare access is vast, requiring a diversified approach to overcome. As a result, policies, initiatives, and strategies aimed primarily at the underserved population are required to improve access to high-quality healthcare. 

Elements of the Problem

For many years, the issue of healthcare access has afflicted numerous countries around the world. While the severity of the problem is well understood, given the wealth of study and data on the subject, finding long-term remedies has remained difficult. In the U.S., there are millions of citizens residing in vulnerable urban and rural areas who consider hospitals as the only place they can get healthcare services (Jay & Priya, 2018). This population is likely to increase with the continuously changing healthcare environment. The need to reform hospitals and make them more accessible to Americans has been acknowledged, and efforts are currently underway to develop new healthcare delivery models that will address the most frequently mentioned barriers to healthcare access. Some of the changes include affordability and advancement to all patients regardless of their location. However, to accomplish this, a comprehensive approach that addresses all aspects of inaccessibility is required. 

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

Age considerations, mental disability, socioeconomic inequities, and educational structure are all major contributions to accessibility issues. There is a shortage of adequate and timely counseling for older adults on where and when to seek medical care. Domestic caregivers are heavily reliant on the mentally disturbed population, who are rarely consulted about their loved ones’ physical health requirements. Low-income families cannot afford vital healthcare services due to a lack of insurance, which contributes to socio-economic inequities. Finally, the structure of some nursing courses should be adjusted to promote awareness about the special needs of vulnerable populations.

Analysis of the Problem

Ensuring that healthcare is available to all populations, in both developed and developing economies, is a challenge. However, the elements that contribute to this widespread issue are very contextual. As a healthcare provider, I can contribute to the resolution of this issue by recommending solutions based on evidence, literature, and personal experience which can be implemented in a variety of settings. 

The Context for Healthcare Access Issue

In the effort to provide complete healthcare services, new obstacles accompany the changing healthcare environment. While measures are being made to encourage equal access to healthcare, socioeconomic disparities render some groups more susceptible since they cannot afford insurance. Others are in inaccessible geographic areas, causing delays or missed healthcare appointments. Similarly, while technological advancements have increased access to healthcare information, the elderly and mentally ill are less capable of using modern technologies to find information. As a result, some vulnerable minorities will be at a greater risk of losing access to important healthcare services as the healthcare system evolves (Jay & Priya, 2018). Therefore, the transition should be diversified and considerate of minority populations.

NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

Populations Vulnerable to Healthcare Access Problems

Age is one factor that cuts across the socioeconomic capabilities of patients when it comes to accessing healthcare. In this sense, it must be considered in the process of devising a solution for healthcare access difficulties. According to Ware et al. (2017), aging populations have different preferences shaped by their experiences while seeking healthcare. Additionally, the authors note that lack of appropriate information is the primary cause of poor health outcomes for the elderly, as they cannot make informed decisions without data. The second element of access to healthcare issues is socioeconomic disparities. Populations living in poor conditions solely depend on hospitals for healthcare. Some people in this population category live too far away from healthcare facilities and cannot afford insurance. Zegeye et al. (2020) argue that women in low-income areas are the most vulnerable. Their problem is worsened by their lack of education as well as their low-educated husbands. The graph below provides a snapshot of the factors prominent in low-income countries. 

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Figure 1: Problems in accessing healthcare Source: Zegeye et al. (2020).

The third population that needs special consideration in improving healthcare access to all is the mentally challenged. The services offered to this population are mostly psychological rather than physical. This increases the burden for those responsible for caring for them (the mentally ill). According to Happel et al. (2016), carers are not involved in identifying the physical health needs of the mentally challenged patients they care for. Thus, it is challenging to develop a solution to reduce their physical pain. Finally, the level and kind of education offered to nurses at different professional levels determine their ability to serve the underserved populations satisfactorily. Notably, most people living in rural communities and underdeveloped urban areas are the most vulnerable to accessibility challenges. According to Mixer et al. (2021), the promotion of a community health-tailored education approach can make health practitioners more competent in handling the health needs of underserved populations.   

Options for Consideration

To address the issue of accessibility to healthcare, there is a need for extensive research in the mentioned areas to provide real-time data on the factors hindering access to healthcare in different contexts. Existing evidence from other fields should be used as the foundation of national and state research. Actual and latest data can be collected from points of service in vulnerable population areas. Technology-aided services such as electronic health records are important sources of critical information about patient medical history to generate comprehensive databases. Finally, nurses should be at the forefront in identifying problems and potential solutions to improve healthcare access by vulnerable populations. 

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NHS FPX 4000 Assignment 3 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue MS

Solution and Implementation

The challenge of lack of information by older adults can be resolved through patient education and the devising of user-friendly apps for guidance. Evaluation of experiences and frustrations by the older population in their search for healthcare information and services should be used as primary data for designing appropriate technologies that can serve them better (Ware et al., 2017). This can be helpful for those living with chronic conditions. For the mentally ill patient populations, carers should be consulted by healthcare providers to help in identifying the physical health needs of their loved ones. This will facilitate access to all types of services because careers possess essential information about the needs of those they care for. Access to affordable and quality care by the low-income population can be improved through policy. It is through good health policies that economic disparities that hinder access to quality health can be resolved.  Finally, nurses should be prepared for the challenges experienced in rural communities and other low-income areas regarding health matters. Community-based nursing education can significantly contribute to the delivery of tailored services to less privileged families. 

Conclusion  

Access to healthcare is every citizen’s right. However, the available resources and their distribution across populations are not sufficient to guarantee quality care for everyone. The healthcare access problem is more pronounced in low-income countries and low-income families within developed countries. The mentally unstable population is at a high risk of missing essential healthcare services unless their carers are considered as pertinent to their care plans. On the other hand, the prevalence of chronic illnesses among older adults contributes to poor healthcare access. Thus, there is a need to create a database that highlights the factors contributing to poor healthcare access and develop evidence-based strategies to solve the issue across different contexts.

References

Happel, B., Wilson, K., Platania-Phung, C., & Stanton, R. (2016). Filling the gaps and finding our way: Family carers navigating the healthcare system to access physical health services for the people they care for. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26, 1917–1926. DOI: 10.1111/jocn.13505 1917.

Jay, B., & Priya, B. (2018). Ensuring access to quality health care in vulnerable communities. Academic Medicine, 93(9), 1271-1275. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002254  

Mixer, S., Beebe, L.H., Elliot, L.M., Turley, D., Craig, J., Chelko, M., & McCoig, C. (2021).  Transforming RN roles using an academic-practice partnership to improve healthcare access for underserved populations. Journal of Professional Nursing, 37, 459-466. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.06.006.

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2021). Disparities.https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/Disparities

Ware, P., Bartlett, S.J., Paré, G., Symeonidis, I., Tannenbaum, C., Bartlett, G., Poissant, L., & Ahmed, S., (2017). Using eHealth technologies: Interests, preferences, and concerns of older adults. Interactive Journal Medical Research, 23, 6(1). DOI: 10.2196/ijmr.4447.Zegeye, B., El-Khatib, Z., Ameyew, E.K., Seidu, A., Ahinkorah, B.O.,  Keetile, M., & Yaya, S. (2020). Breaking barriers to healthcare access: A multilevel analysis of individual- and community-level factors affecting women’s access to healthcare services in Benin. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(750), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020750.

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