The challenges in the future of health care as they relate to the concerns and needs of the elderly
The elderly population of the US (or any other country) is specifically intending to be especially dependent on healthcare. The elderly people experience the so-called age-related health problems, many of which are chronic conditions, and some result in mental impairment, which results in difficulties for healthcare. Also, the social integration of the elderly can suffer as a result of aging or health decline. In particular, it is not uncommon for them to be widowed and live alone, which presupposes additional threats to their health and quality of life (Bhalla, 2010). Indeed, my personal experience shows that the elderly who live alone are less likely to receive the necessary help in time and are more prone to neglecting the prescriptions of their doctors. The elderly population is not unlikely to be disadvantaged in several aspects.
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Moreover, the world’s population is aging due to the increased lifespan that humanity experiences nowadays. As a result, shortly, healthcare is going to be put under increased strain: the elderly population is more likely to need healthcare services (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2012). Apart from that, it becomes apparent that the needs of the elderly population are changing modern healthcare: indeed, they bring forth the importance of palliative and holistic care (Coyle, 2015, pp. 4-5).
The former is aimed at chronic conditions while the latter requires taking into account the multiple aspects of the life of a patient, which allows mitigating the adverse effects of multiple contributing factors. Also, the implementation and expansion of Medicare are meant to address the challenges of the elderly population healthcare (Bodenheimer & Grumbach, 2012), and its careful, thoughtful improvement is capable of improving the current state of events (Bhalla, 2010). To sum up, modern healthcare is actively working towards the improvement of the life of the elderly population, which is likely to transform both of them in the future.
The role of health informatics in reducing the poor quality of health care
As a Mental Therapist, I have experienced largely positive effects of healthcare informatics policy implementations, which is why I tend to believe that it is capable of improving healthcare quality. In particular, I can testify to the fact that the use of electronic means of information has the potential of improving the efficiency of the work of healthcare providers. However, one of my colleagues had once provided me with another view of the issue.
She dwelled on the fact that she had been experiencing noticeable difficulties when the policy of using electronic devices was first implemented. In her view, it had been hindering rather than helping, mostly because she had been experiencing problems with training. While I will not say that I agree with my colleague’s view of the situation completely, it appears to me that she had experienced a problem with bad implementation.
While health informatics (in my experience) proves to be capable of improving healthcare, it is useless to deny that new tools need to come with appropriate policies, and the latter need to be appropriately implemented. The use of IT technology in healthcare is a relatively new development; it relies on various disciplines, and its specifics and difficulties should not be neglected (Virgona, 2015). If the policy does not take into account the problems that the employees are experiencing, it is not appropriate either in its content or implementation.
The American Health Information Management Association (2014) provides an example of the issues that are related to copypasting crucial healthcare information. In this case, the problem was identified, and a separate policy was drawn to deal with it. I believe that every situation like the one that my colleague had experienced needs to develop this way. The role of a healthcare worker (including myself) consists in making the problems that are experienced by the staff known to the management and helping to eliminate them.
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American Health Information Management Association. (2014). Appropriate Use of the Copy and Paste Functionality in Electronic Health Records. Web.
Bhalla, R. (2010). Could Medicare readmission policy exacerbate health care system inequity? Annals of Internal Medicine, 152(2), 114-115. Web.
Bodenheimer, T. & Grumbach, K. (2012). Understanding health policy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.
Coyle, N. (2015). Introduction to palliative nursing care. In B. Ferrell, N. Coyle, & J. Paice (Eds.), Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing (pp. 3-10). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Virgona, T. (2015). Towards an epistemological understanding of healthcare informatics; academic backgrounds of the faculty. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 10(1-2), 1-5. Web.