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NR506-63140 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern LT

NR506-63140 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern LT


Global Spread of Communicable Infectious Diseases and Health Care Policy

Ly Tran

Chamberlain College of Nursing

NR 506: Healthcare Policy

Session II: Summer 2020

Global Spread of Communicable Infectious Diseases and Health Care Policy


Communicable diseases are contagious in nature and they are external. A person can contract the illness and then transmit the pathogen to other people. Based on the severity of the spread, it can be an isolated, small, or pandemic outbreak (Heesterbeek et al., 2015). Over the years, different communicable and infectious diseases have spread globally leading to increased complexities in health care services. Some of the communicable infectious diseases are Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), influenza, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), and many others (Smiley Evans et al., 2020). The novel Coronavirus has highlighted the problems in our health care services, and the effectiveness of policies at both national and global levels. Title 42 of the United States Code (USC)– public health and welfare policy under sections 264-272 of federal laws are the policies that aimed to control communicable diseases (CDC, 2020). This is the policy that governs health care services provided. The purpose of the paper is to analyze the policy based on its effects at the national and global levels to identify, create, and propose an action plan that can address policy problems in the public health area. 

Overview of Healthcare Policy

Health care policy can be defined as a policy that is concerned with health care service and it can be a regulation, law, incentive, procedure, the voluntary practice of health care institutions, and administrative actions that aimed at achieving a particular or set of health care goals (Kokkinen, Freiler, Muntaner & Shankardass, 2019). Further, health care policy also aids in standardizing nursing practice and guidelines. The policies in health consider aspects such as practice change, risks and trends in health care, use of treatment, economy, guidelines to health care administration, and other aspects that affect society. Implications of the health care policies are wide-scale (Leeuw, Clavier & Breton, 2014). The very first implication is it affects nursing practice as polices can lead to new intervention, change finances, change in practice, and regulations on the practice. Further, it also includes developing partnerships, effective use of resources, implementation of evidence-based practice, and adopting the need for new measures (CDC, 2020). The policy provides guidelines and frameworks for nursing and health care professionals as the policies include procedures. The roles of the nursing profession are increasing in the policy-making process as the nurses have better knowledge and experience about problems at hand. The process of implementing health care policies can be complex (Gentry, Milden & Kelly, 2020) and as a result, the role of advocacy is critical. 

Role of Advocacy

According to the Oxford dictionary, advocacy is defined as help, advice, and the support given to the people (Oxford, 2020). However, the definition of advocacy also includes encouraging and collaborating other health care professionals through knowledge and information sharing to apply a practice change or practice better. The role of advocacy is to promote the practice standards by overcoming barriers in practice by providing support (cultural, social, political, behavioral, biological, and economic), education, building, maintaining, and improving health programs, and prevent any errors (WHO, 2020). This includes different roles such as advocacy for patients, advocacy for patient’s family, advocacy for peers, advocacy for community, advocacy in policy-making, and advocacy in health care administration (Kalaitzidis & Jewell, 2020). As the role of advocacy includes patients, nurses, organizations, and government, its impacts are deeper. 

At the micro-level, the advocacy helps in facilitating open dialogue and discussions where nurses, other health care professionals, patient’s family, and patients can discuss about symptoms, treatment, and outcomes to increase the knowledge so that patient can make the right choice (Tíscar-González, Sánchez, Blanco, Moreno-Casbas & Peter, 2019). It also includes collaborating with other nurses and advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) to increase knowledge and improve skills. At the mesa level, it includes discussing and reporting on outcomes of different treatments, practice problems, and finances to create action plans to mitigate the problem. This is where the role of policy nurses is high. At the macro level, the implications of advocacy include the creation of new policies, new guidelines, and standards (Akın & Kurşun, 2020). Overall, advocacy aids in improving the quality of care provided, providing holistic culture and patient-based ethical and evidence-based care, increasing competency levels, and understanding the effects of policies on health care (Kalaitzidis & Jewell, 2020). It is evident from the implications of the advocacy is that ANPs have all these roles from educating patients to participating in the policy-making process. As a result, the roles of advocacy are highly consistent with the obligations of an ANP. Both are essential as they are integrated parts of the responsibilities and roles of an ANP. 

Identification of Selected Healthcare Policy Concern

The main health care policy concern is the spread of infectious disease and inadequate preparedness in handling infection disease outbreak including global pandemics such as influenza, measles, COVID-19, and SARS. The current policy that governs this concern was developed and amended many times, but still failed to address the rapid spread of communicable infectious diseases. Sections 264-272 of USC address the policy concern but not completely (CDC, 2020). The first problem is providing vaccines against infectious diseases for everyone. Every year, 30 million cases emerge with more than 10,000 deaths cross-border (Fleming, 2020). However, health care services are failing to implement the vaccine programs timely and remove misconceptions from people, which are resulting in people not getting the vaccines. Further, poor health literacy in the public has led to an increase in the spread of COVID-19 at a faster rate. As of 16th July 2020, Coronavirus cases in the USA were 3,699,307, and the death rate was 141,168 (Worldometers, 2020). As these diseases affect everyone, the whole population is vulnerable. On top of that, elders and people with chronic conditions are at higher risk due to their lower levels of immunity. Occurrences of infectious diseases such as influenza can be predicted as it occurs every year around May and lasts for three to four months. However, the occurrence of COVID-19 is broad and there is no policy that addresses this issue as of now. 

NR506-63140 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern LT

The policies at hand use different measures. The measures include quarantine and inspection, regulations to prevent the spread, suspend the imports and entry of people from infected places, powers of special quarantine procedures during the war, quarantine grounds, anchorages, and stations, special duties for officials during quarantine, and penalties for breaking quarantine laws (CDC, 2020). However, there is no clear preparedness plan that addresses projected and predicted need for ventilators, personal protection equipment, and other resources. There is no plan to track global healthcare issues to prepare for the worst. Further, cutting the funds for global pandemic research and infection prevention research will result in delayed response and vaccine development (Mahmood, Hasan, Colder Carras & Labrique, 2020). As a result, the spread of infection and failure to provide vaccines and implementation of prevention programs directly impact the population’s physical and psychological health as their daily activities get disturbed. First, it disrupts health care services and people find it hard to access health care services. The higher cost of new treatment affects them negatively. Quarantine disrupts businesses and increases the risk of more citizens contracting an infection (Velde, 2020). As a result, it is important to develop action plans to counter the policy concern. 

Description of Identified Solution

NR506-63140 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern LT

The solution has three steps in it. The very first step is to create a preparedness and prevention plan where health care services keep stock of resources, a unit keeps track of global healthcare issues, apply aviation rules, educate citizens on global healthcare issues and ways to protect self, and collaborate with origin country to study the infectious disease (Mahmood, Hasan, Colder Carras & Labrique, 2020). The second step is the treatment and vaccine development phase by funding the research at a global level by collaborating. The third step is protecting the patients, nurses, and citizens through a quarantine plan (CDC, 2020). The major positive outcome of the plan is it helps in better management of resources as researchers have enough time to study the infection and develop a vaccine to prevent them before it becomes pandemic. To implement the change, the society including health care professionals, citizens, and officials need to work together and follow the quarantine laws (Mahmood, Hasan, Colder Carras & Labrique, 2020). Further, following the guidelines and initial treatment plan, it is possible to prevent the infection from spreading. This can be achieved by educating the public continuously and encouraging the population to stay safe (WHO, 2020). 

The first measurable actions are the commencing time of research on vaccines, number of cases per week, number of deaths, nurse to patient ratio, availability of resources and ventilators, and response from the population during the quarantine. The two biggest challenges are developing vaccines in time, and maintaining order in the community as chaos can occur quickly (CDC, 2020). The first challenge can be resolved by collaborating research at a global level. The second challenge can be avoided by developing vaccines, implementing aviation rules, and making sure the needs of the population are fulfilled. 

Identification of Elected Official

Congresswoman Katie Porter is selected, as she was the one who was vocal about free testing in the COVID-19 situation. Katie Porter represents California’s 45th congressional district. She fits the role for three reasons. The first reason is she secured free COVID-19 testing for all Americans and as a result, she has knowledge about the COVID-19 crisis and the needs of the public. The second reason is she has worked on the credit card act in 2009 and state and local tax (SALT). The third reason is she has two decades of experience in American politics (Porter, 2020). 


Health care policies act as a set of rules or guidelines that affect the nursing profession and nursing practice as it changes the economics, interventions, care provided, and procedures in nursing. Advocacy includes knowledge, information, and support, which can influence health care policies. As a result, advocacy is an important part of the responsibilities of a nurse in providing care. Inadequate preparedness in preventing and managing communicable infectious diseases, which lead to the global pandemic, was the policy concern. It included failure to predict the infection spread, poor resource and human management, delay in vaccine development, and poor public health literacy. By creating an action plan that addresses all these problems and incorporating it as a policy draft by collaborating with an elected official result in the prevention of infectious diseases.

NR506-63140 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern LT


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CDC. (2020). Definition of Policy | AD for Policy and Strategy | CDC. Retrieved 16 July 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/policy/analysis/process/definition.html

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Worldometers. (2020). United States coronavirus: 3,699,307 cases and 141,168 deaths – worldometer. Retrieved 16 July 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

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