Policy Health Issue
Research public health issues on the ‘Climate Change’ or & ‘Topics and Issues’ pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population.
Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue.
Follow this outline when writing the policy brief:
Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources.
Create a problem statement.
Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable.
Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system.
Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Policy Health Issue
Climate change is a public health issue related to environmental issues in the U.S. healthcare delivery system. Currently, climate change is considered a public health crisis (American Public Health Association, n.d.). All communities experience the effect of climate change, mainly air pollution. The nursing profession can impact the development and introduction of environmental policies to enhance the delivery of healthcare-based services in the nationwide healthcare system. For example, air pollution remains a global concern issue. Usually, it impacts how climate and weather are experienced in diverse areas on different forms of individuals.
The health effects of climate change are very different. They range from improved weather conditions, cardiovascular conditions, asthma attacks, heat, and storms because of ozone degradation (Ćurić, Zafirovski & Spiridonov, 2022). These results are negative; thus, relevant and active health organizations, particularly in the U.S, encourage support and application of the Climate Action Now Act. This policy guarantees that the nation follows the procedures and scientific goals as agreed. It similarly defines means and strategies of attaining targets and protecting public health from destructive effects of the climate change issue.
Climate change impacts individuals from all walks of life as an environmental health issue. Improved negative results affect how individuals access healthcare services. Storms and extreme heat, as a result, impact all individuals in the nation, either poor or rich, kids, women, adults, and teenagers. Though, less advantaged society members are more influenced than those advantaged. They face actual and first-hand health-based challenges as risks are scientifically firm and are not hypothetical. Generally, vulnerable populations stand the health burden of the negative climate change. Ebi et al. (2021) reveals that kids, pregnant mothers, low-income communities, individuals living with infirmities and chronic disorders face great danger and effects of the climate and weather changes. A change in quality air leads to pollution. Eventually, ozone layer-related mortality and morbidity coincide with other adverse health-based conditions.
The problem of air pollution stems from diverse sources. Gas and coal are fossil fuels, relieving dangerous emissions when used. The result makes the air less healthy to live in and breathe. Higher temperatures may lead to risky allergens and pollutants in the air. For instance, warmer and heater seasons lead to continued pollen, causing increased asthmatic events and allergic reactions.
Suggestions to Address Identified Health Issue
Early, accountable and deliberate actions can help safeguard the health and well-being of individuals. Measures aid in reducing the impacts of future climate change addressing existing effects for great health benefits. A strong adaptation of climate health and preparation programs can aid in reducing the emission of carbon monoxide and dioxide gases that usually trap the heat in the atmosphere (Philipsborn et al., 2021). Individuals must embrace active transport means such as using bikes or walking instead of using vehicles. This strategy may help decrease pollution of air ensuing from the traffic encouraging the physical activity. This step can similarly help individuals avoid lifestyle conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes.
Several agencies and stakeholders promote safer environmental conditions via tracking and monitoring initiatives. U.S environmental protection agency applies air quality index to enlighten and help the public quickly learn the non-healthy levels of poor air quality. Strategy guides the vulnerable individuals to reduce the exposure whenever completing outside activities. The agency similarly seeks to keep citizens from the diesel exhaust releases from trains, trucks, and the marine engines that produce carcinogenic products to humans.
Steps Needed to Initiate the Policy Change
Policy development remains a key way to enhance the health outcomes of a particular population. Public health and nursing specialists are influential in improving the public policy process. The first step towards initiating a policy change is identifying a problem (Hudson, Hunter & Peckham, 2019). Based on air pollution, stakeholders must gather and summarize important information on the effects of public health and the general population. Secondly, they must identify characteristics, scope, severity, and budgetary inferences of the issue at hand. Besides, they then should package the presenting issue itself as a possible policy solution.
Policy analysis involves research and identification of policy preferences to address the issue. It assesses mortality and morbidity impact, the budgetary and economic impact of policy, and political factors related to policy execution. Stakeholders such as the government identify how this policy would function through a strategy and development. It similarly finds what’s required to enact policy understanding its influence. Finally, a policy is passed and executed through suitable procedures and administrative actions. This process is monitored for activity and approval for commendations and more directives.
Impact on the Healthcare Delivery System
According to Perera (2018), air pollution has adverse effects on an individual’s health. It limits them from completing outdoor activities such as physical exercise, improved emergency room visits for episodes of asthmatic attack, and more hospitalizations following an outcome of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. Effects may lead to early death, and disability implying vast economic costs on the healthcare system.
There are improved hospital admissions and visits in the emergency rooms in the community hospitals following lack of compliance to federal standards and ozone layer commendations. These admissions have resulted in a huge payment of the hospital bills by the state and private state insurers. Generally, insurance costs for the patients increase to a higher number over environmentally preventable conditions. Improved admission of the patients can similarly lead to an increased request for healthcare staff. The phenomenon strains the existing supply of limited human resources, leading to poor quality-based services.
American Public Health Association. (n.d.). Topics & issues. American Public Health Association — for science. For action. For health. https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues
Ćurić, M., Zafirovski, O., & Spiridonov, V. (2022). Air Quality and Health. In Essentials of Medical Meteorology (pp. 143-182). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-80975-1_8
Ebi, K. L., Capon, A., Berry, P., Broderick, C., de Dear, R., Havenith, G., & Jay, O. (2021). Hot weather and heat extremes: health risks. The Lancet, 398(10301), 698-708. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(21)01208-3
Hudson, B., Hunter, D., & Peckham, S. (2019). Policy failure and the policy-implementation gap: can policy support programs help? Policy design and practice, 2(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/25741292.2018.1540378
Perera, F. (2018). Pollution from fossil-fuel combustion is the leading environmental threat to global pediatric health and equity: Solutions exist. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(1), 16. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010016
Philipsborn, R. P., Sheffield, P., White, A., Osta, A., Anderson, M. S., & Bernstein, A. (2021). Climate change and the practice of medicine: essentials for resident education. Academic Medicine, 96(3), 355-367. Doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003719