Addressing Health Disparities in a Vulnerable Population
Identify a health gap for a vulnerable population (young, old, homeless. LGBTQ, a specific ethnic/cultural group etc.) in your local community by consulting local, regional, state or national data. (Local community AUGUSTA GEORGIA)
The following website can be helpful in locating and selecting data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (n.d). Sources for data on social determinant of health. https://www.cdc.gov/socialdeterminants/data/index.htm
- List the characteristics of your selected population using multiple sources of data as support. For example, a community’s health is determined by several influences other than the quality of healthcare. Health disparities are differences in health or health-related outcomes associated with socioeconomic or environmental disadvantage. These disadvantages may be due to economics, education, healthcare access, or health outcomes for racial and ethnic minorities, age (both old and young), mental disabilities, or substance use disorders.
- Identify two social determinants that impact your identified community and explain how those determinants contribute to the health gap.
- Identify and describe a policy strategy that has focused on the health gap for your selected vulnerable population in your community.
Identify two socioeconomic-related questions that the nurse could have asked Maria that fall under the umbrella of SDOH.
The nurse should have asked Maria whether she has anyone who can assist with her medication, such as friends, family members, or whether she has anyone who assists her with her daily duties/activities. The nurse also could have asked whether Maria has access to medical insurance and how often she takes a meal in a day.
How the nurse could have addressed one of the following areas to better prepare Maria for discharge.
Social support; refers to a network of family, friends, and other community members that are available in time of need, for example, during sickness, to provide emotional, physical, and when needed financial support to the patient. Social support aims to assist the person in times of need, such as illness, until they fully recover. In this case, the only social support identified is her husband (Gu et al., 2017).
To better prepare Maria for discharge, the nurse should have enquired about the relatives/ and Maria’s children, those living close by or those living far off. She should have requested Maria to contact them and request them to visit or regularly contact Maria and her husband to check on them. The nurse should have encouraged Maria to regularly interact with her neighbors and other friends. If the nurse had established whether Maria had had anyone who assisted with her duties, she should have contacted them to ensure the prescription was followed (Gu et al., 2017).
Discharging patients from hospital to home requires efficient transfer of information from care providers to the patient and their support group/family to prevent readmissions and adverse events. An example of a discharge policy that should be implemented in healthcare is one that requires the care providers to contact and ensure patients’ relatives or those who will take care of them at home are present during the discharge education. This would be important in ensuring that those taking care of the patient at home fully understand the patient’s condition, prescription instructions, and how to provide general care to the patient. The policy should also outline mandatory education topics such as patient diagnosis, medication, complications, and prevention strategies to ensure that the patient support group is well informed on actions to provide the necessary care and actions to take in case of adverse events (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2021).
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, (2021) Strategy 4: Care Transitions from Hospital to Home: IDEAL Discharge Planning Retrieved from: https://www.ahrq.gov/patient-safety/patients-families/engagingfamilies/strategy4/index.html
- Gu, L., Wu, S., Zhao, S., Zhou, H., Zhang, S., Gao, M., … & Tian, D. (2017). Association of social support and medication adherence in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. International journal of environmental research and public health, 14(12), 1522. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/12/1522