Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue
Write a 4-6 page analysis of a current problem or issue in health care, including a proposed solution and possible ethical implications.
In your health care career, you will be confronted with many problems that demand a solution. By using research skills, you can learn what others are doing and saying about similar problems. Then, you can analyze the problem and the people and systems it affects. You can also examine potential solutions and their ramifications. This assessment allows you to practice this approach with a real-world problem.
Note: The requirements outlined below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. At a minimum, be sure to address each point. In addition, you are encouraged to review the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.
Describe the health care problem or issue you selected for use in Assessment 2 (from the Assessment Topic Areas media piece) and provide details about it.
Explore your chosen topic. For this, you should use the first four steps of the Socratic Problem-Solving Approach to aid your critical thinking. This approach was introduced in Assessment 2.
Identify possible causes for the problem or issue.
Use scholarly information to describe and explain the health care problem or issue and identify possible causes for it.
Identify at least three scholarly or academic peer-reviewed journal articles about the topic.
You may find the How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles? library guide helpful in locating appropriate references.
You may use articles you found while working on Assessment 2 or you may search the Capella library for other articles.
You may find the applicable Undergraduate Library Research Guide helpful in your search.
Review the Think Critically About Source Quality to help you complete the following:
Assess the credibility of the information sources.
Assess the relevance of the information sources.
Analyze the health care problem or issue.
Describe the setting or context for the problem or issue.
Describe why the problem or issue is important to you.
Identify groups of people affected by the problem or issue.
Provide examples that support your analysis of the problem or issue.
Discuss potential solutions for the health care problem or issue.
Describe what would be required to implement a solution.
Describe potential consequences of ignoring the problem or issue.
Provide the pros and cons for one of the solutions you are proposing.
Explain the ethical principles (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if potential solution was implemented.
Describe what would be necessary to implement the proposed solution.
Explain the ethical principles that need to be considered (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if the potential solution was implemented.
Provide examples from the literature to support the points you are making.
Example Assessment: You may use the following to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like:
Problem Analysis: Limited Access to Healthcare
Healthcare services are among the essential socioeconomic utilities in modern society. However, even in an economically-advanced nation such as the United States, many people still struggle to access healthcare. Thus, the current paper explores the problem’s elements (including causes and setting), analyzes it, develops potential solutions, and proposes one for implementation.
Elements of the Problem
There are two critical elements to limited healthcare access: contributing factors and clinical/cultural setting. Among the contributing factors are healthcare costs and underinsurance. Healthcare services are expensive in the United States, especially when compared to other nations with similar economies. For instance, according to commercially-available data, the US spends twice on healthcare as countries like Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom (Kurani & Cox, 2020). Consequently, more people are economically cut off from these essential services. Another significant contributor is understaffing. The American healthcare system is experiencing an acute shortage of professional caregivers. Hence, the available personnel can only attend to a limited number of people. Thus, people living in underserved areas, either rural or low-income neighborhoods, do not have enough healthcare resources to address their needs.
Meanwhile, the setting refers to the physical and social context within which people experience the problem. As established earlier, geography and income status affect healthcare accessibility. However, these challenges are more prevalent among ethnic minorities. Hence, most people not receiving health are African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics (Yearby, 2018). Another essential cultural setting aspect relates to social concepts, such as gender, sexual identity, and marital status. Women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and single people are more disadvantaged regarding access to healthcare services. Hence, the proposed solutions should consider ways of alleviating the inherent challenges that these elements present.
Limited access to healthcare presents various challenges. First, people lack timely interventions for emergency issues. Consequently, mortality rates are higher and Quality of Life poorer in communities with limited healthcare access (Morelli, 2017). The problem also impedes health literacy. People without adequate access to medical services lack sufficient information to promote their health. Thus, they begin relying on myths and misconceptions, which could be detrimental to their well-being (Kim & Xie, 2017). Finally, limited access to healthcare makes it harder for healthcare providers, community members, and other stakeholders to collaborate on improving the physical and social health environment. Hence, most areas with limited access to healthcare are also likely to have other rampant health-related challenges, compounding the problem. For instance, unregulated air/soil/ water pollution, teenage/unwanted pregnancies, and mental health issues (Barnett et al., 2018) are more likely to be rife in a society without adequate access to healthcare services. Therefore, limited access to healthcare is a multi-faceted problem that disproportionately affects socially, politically, and economically-disadvantaged people. However, the impact transcends to the entire nation since the overall health status and quality of life are lower than they should be.
There are several options to address healthcare access issues. First, the nation’s policymakers can enhance access by availing more resources, i.e., clinicians and facilities. Medical and nursing schools should expand their training capacities, improving the national clinician tally. These professionals would fill the shortage gaps in the existing facilities (de Villiers et al., 2017). Meanwhile, creating more facilities in marginalized communities would bring the healthcare services closer to the people. The increased medical staffing would also be essential since those that do not go into the current facilities would serve at the new centers in the underserved regions. Hence, regardless of their income status or residency (urban or rural), everyone would have more readily-available access to healthcare services.
Alternatively, the healthcare fraternity can seek to lower costs. The government can reduce consumer expenditure by subsidizing the manufacture of medicines and other healthcare utilities. Therefore, more people can afford them. Meanwhile, increasing the affordability of health insurance programs would be useful. The nation can achieve this goal by expanding the current public insurance or establishing more consumer-friendly guidelines for private insurance. Either way, more people would afford the lower premiums necessary to access healthcare services.
Lastly, healthcare stakeholders can seek to expand the availability of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM involves using non-traditional medical products and practices to address healthcare needs. CAM does not require a formal healthcare structure since consumers can use it without advanced clinical knowledge. Additionally, CAM decentralizes the facilities needed to promote health (Tangkiatkumjai et al., 2020). For instance, people with backaches, common cold, and anxiety attacks would all flock to one healthcare facility to receive conventional medical interventions. However, under CAM, each need requires a separate set of facilities. The person with backaches would go to a massage parlor, and the common cold patient would buy effective herbs from the market and prepare a solution at home. Lastly, the person with anxiety attacks would join a yoga studio. Hence, the decentralization reduces the pressure on healthcare services, resulting in more accessibility.
The ideal solution is increasing the healthcare resources by expanding training capacity and creating more healthcare centers in underserved communities. The solution is more viable than the other two since it is purely a healthcare solution. The others require more political and social involvement for them to attain approval. This solution also addresses all healthcare needs, unlike CAM. Thirdly, expanding the healthcare infrastructure is more financially sustainable. Other advantages include enhancing all aspects of healthcare, including health literacy and patient empowerment. It is also easier to regulate the quality of care through this solution than the other two.
Expanding the nations’ healthcare resources would have ethical implications. First, it would enhance justice. With more facilities and caregivers, the healthcare providers would not choose who should receive care at the other’s expense. The solution would also improve patient autonomy. The expanded medical resource pool would allow patients to choose the interventions most culturally agreeable to them. Thus, they would not be compelled to accept sub-standard or culturally inappropriate interventions since they are the only ones available. Similarly, caregivers would have more liberty to do what is best for patients since they have more resources, promoting beneficence. The solution would seemingly not have a direct impact on nonmaleficence. Still, it would spare caregivers the emotional burden of knowing that there are people out there needing clinical assistance but cannot access it.