Healthcare Policy Formation and Analysis

Defining the Problem

The increasing awareness of the limits of individual health care necessitates a need for effective public health strategies. As such, researchers are coming up with medical technology to ensure earlier diagnoses, personalized treatments as well as other benefits for both clients and health caregivers. Such technologies include a new generation of gadgets and wristbands that record the number of steps one takes, sleep cycles, and heart rates. The technological changes are crucial in detection and prevention of congestive heart failure.

Therefore, this health policy framework looks into the technologies that healthcare practitioners can use in controlling congestive heart failure thereby enhancing the availability and quality of effective health care. For such to be achieved, knowledge on social, political, and organizational skills is important to bring these changes at both national and local levels.

Congestive heart failure is one of Medicare’s most costly diagnoses with the mortality being considerably high. As such, technology would give both the care team and the incessant patient information regarding the functioning of the compromised heart (Krumholz et al., 2007).

Evidence of the Problem or Need for a Policy

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition that represents the end-stage of many other cardiac diseases without a curative treatment. Upon diagnosis, the patient should take medication for the rest of their life to improve life quality and survival. The contributes to both the cost and burden of national healthcare expenditures, with an increasing number of older Americans hospitalized for heart failure than for any other medical condition. Therefore, the impact of the condition is expected to increase substantially with the aging of the population.

However, there is a pattern of wide variation in health care practice, which shows that medical practice has not kept pace with the changing technology for evidence-based practice in the United States (Walsh et al., 2012). Additionally, millions of people do not have access to necessary care thus suffer complications that add to costs and reduce their productivity.

Alternative Solutions to the Problem

Improved implementation of the current preventative therapies and measures and enhanced community-based cardiovascular health strategies can be used in the improvement of prevention and treatment of congestive heart failure. Primordial prevention strategies can mitigate the population burden of congestive heart failure by preventing Heart failure adverse risk factor development. Care coordination can be used as the alternative solution to the problem since it benefits patients by reducing the cost of care, decreasing medication discrepancies, and decreasing readmissions.

Alternative to the technological improvements are dietary and lifestyle changes, for instance, sodium restriction to decrease fluid retention, smoking cessation, and alcohol consumption limitation. It is also important to exercise daily weight monitoring to identify early fluid accumulation before the development of symptoms to reduce any chances of hospitalization. Aerobic exercise in stable patients, especially during cardiac rehabilitation program may also prove crucial.

Criteria for Choosing the Correct Solution from the Alternatives

Primary care physician rather than rehabilitation programs and heart failure clinics specialized in treating heart failure care in approximately 66 percent of the patients. Therefore, it is critical to change strategies toward increasing prevention instead of spending more money in expensive and less effective treatment measures (Sandhoff et al, 2008).  Therefore, controlling risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension is essential in preventing and delaying heart failure. New and improved systems to monitor patients with diagnosed heart failure would prove essential in choosing the correct solution from the alternatives.

Outcomes of the Policy Changes

Outcomes represent the healthcare delivery’s core of value. The outcomes, however, may have the tendency to bring about a single ideal outcome measure for the condition. The outcome would depend on the easy to agree upon measure. The policy changes would increase the costs of achieving outcomes involved in care. There arise shifting costs across parties by, such as raising patient co-payments for prescription drugs. As such, lack of proper measurement of costs goes against real value improvement due to the organization and payment for treatment.

The outcomes include reduced costs through early detection thereby limiting the complexity of care, as well as ensuring less need for subsequent care, early recovery, and less invasive treatment (Fonarow et al., 2011). As such, the outcomes would define patient value, such as death and survival. Other outcomes related to safety, such as the incidence of medical errors and their consequences would also apply.

The Trade-Offs of Not Having a Policy or Addressing the Problem

Lack of a policy may lead to treatment with a greater risk of care-induced illness for a complete recovery. Additionally, there would be a need for treatment that is more discomforting in the case of a complete recovery. The individual patients may also differ on the importance they place on specific measures and the different levels of the hierarchy. The degree and sustainability of health achieved would affect the discomfort of treatment willingly endured by the patient, for instance, some considerations may weigh seriously against the risk of recurrence of the condition.

 

Recommendations

Achieving the best health care technology will first depend discussing the barriers to its adoption. Practitioners should ensure that the appropriate use of technology is taken as an integral part of all policy development in health care. The policy would work to accelerate and increase the use of technology in the prevention and treatment of congestive heart failure. Further, it would ensure that the technologies are structured to facilitate innovation uptake as well as the adoption of appropriate technologies that consolidate access to innovation funding and R&D to provide the desired outcomes. The policy would help improve care coordination and communication and thus teach team member to focus more on the quality of care. Besides, it would increase access to cardiovascular care and expand services to more populations and other geographic areas.

Health Policy’s Intended Use and Its Effect on Direct Patient Care in the United States

The health policy on technological changes towards the prevention and treatment of congestive heart failure would help nurse leaders to think about how emerging technologies would be necessary for improving the nursing practice. Moreover, it would create leadership development programs and educational models essential to assuring that practitioners will have the required competencies to address such emerging technologies. Due to the uncertainty of the future, much of what the profession will experience in the future in the United States will be different from the past. The ability to apply and integrate rapid technological change would be essential in improving the prevention and treatment of the disease.

The policy will emphasize on value generation as the fundamental goal of any healthcare system. The driving force of the health policy formation will thus include measuring of value and improving it as the engine for every participant in the US healthcare system (Heidenreich et al., 2013). The policy will ensure that health care is organized around value to create excellent care and drive down cost. It will also align reimbursement with value to better the process of value improvement and increase the profit motive in healthcare delivery as a cost driver. As such, health workers, government, and employers can use the policy to make the measurement of value in health care regarding congestive heart failure a reality.

 

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