People often use healthcare facilities for several purposes: illness treatment, for taking precautionary measures from future health problems, improving quality of life by addressing common issues like muscle fatigue, joint pains or just to obtain the general health details to maintain the healthy lifestyle accordingly. In the last few decades, advancements’ in technology played a vital role in revolutionizing the healthcare facilities and structure. Nowadays, more effective drugs with having fewer side effects and efficient procedures are in place to give a better healthcare experience to the patients. The USA is one of the many countries who are ahead in welcoming the changes in the conventional healthcare facilities and progressing in improving all the health facilities such as hospital care, ambulatory surgical centers, doctor’s office, urgent clinic care, nursing homes and many more. However, there are still some challenges to be conquered in terms of cost, accessibility, and management.
According to an annual survey conducted by AHA ( American Health Association) from all of the healthcare facilities 21% are for profit, 21% are under government influence, and 58% of them are nonprofit (“Fast Facts on U.S. Hospitals, 2018 | AHA,” 2018). As per a nation-wide survey directed by WHO (World Health Organization) in 2014, U.S. spent per capita ($9,403) and (17.1%) more of its GDP on health care than any country in the world (“Fast Facts on U.S. Hospitals, 2018 | AHA,” 2018). Nevertheless, there are different care programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and the Veterans ’Health Administration and the Children’s Insurance Program, ensuring the better health care services and trying to make them less costly by organizing the system in a better way. For instance, the mortality rate in the U.S. has been decreased uniformly over the last 30 years because of the improved health care facilities and precautionary measures to cater the serious issues like heart attack and stroke in a more efficient way (Kaiser, 2015)
During a patient’s stay of 5-6 days in a hospital, he might interact with 50 different people, including doctors, nurses, technicians and many others. Thus, making it critical for all the necessary information to be shared accurately and communicated properly among the different clinical practitioners. Lack of communication can lead up to severe medical errors, which can cause severe injuries or unexpected patient deaths (O’Daniel & Rosenstein, 2008). Also, all the health services should be integrated as they are interlinked and dependent on each other. For example, all the building blocks in a health care system such as policy making, preventive measure, diagnostics, and operations are devised in a manner to avoid any lapse in achieving the ideal results for patient’s proper health recovery. Before admitting a patient to a hospital, a general checkup is conducted to categorize the patient to be admitted to the urgent care services or to be referred to a physician. Furthermore, if a patient is required to undergo a surgery which is not that complex, then he is usually referred to an ambulatory surgical center where the procedure is done under the supervision of medical personnel. Patients who require full-time nursing care are then referred to the nursing home here the onsite medical staff is available for 24 hours to take care of the patient to ensure the proper recovery. However, these services are properly monitored by the concerned authorities to make the experience more convenient for the patients.
Healthcare facilities in the U.S are not only regulated by the government at different levels (state, federal, local) but are also managed by some private organizations. For Public health the agencies most responsible for overseeing the health care operations are Medicare and Medicaid, providing the services for the elderly and disabled and for the lower income individuals and families accordingly. The ultimate goal of these regulatory agencies is to provide a composite health plan that covers all health-related problems for the patients. The functional model for all these authorities is almost similar and composed up of multiple steps such as monitoring patient’s health, identifying and examining health problems, developing and promoting comprehensive health policies and applying preventive methodologies.
Fast Facts on U.S. Hospitals, 2018 | AHA. (2018, January 1). Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://www.aha.org/statistics/fast-facts-us-hospitals
Kaiser, P. (2015, September 10). Measuring the quality of healthcare in the U.S. Retrieved February 14, 2018, from https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/measuring-the-quality-of-healthcare-in-the-u-s/
O’Daniel, M., & Rosenstein, A. H. (2008). Professional Communication and Team Collaboration. In R. G. Hughes (Ed.), Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2637/