Student 1 Perspective
The contemporary medical industry is aimed at providing patients with high-quality care. However, it appears clear that it is impossible to organize health care services in a way that would allow for 100% efficiency. Of course, this leads to lower quality care and the dissatisfaction of clients. Therefore, it is paramount to find the current problems in contemporary medical care and address them.
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One of these problems is related to the end-of-life (EOL) care. According to a study by Heyland et al. (2013), many elderly individuals have certain preferences for EOL care; they often communicate them to their family members. Nevertheless, this information often fails to reach health care professionals and to be properly documented, which results in the elderly patients gaining not the type of health care and treatment that they want (Heyland et al., 2013). Nowadays, elderly individuals often prefer to only receive comfort measures while gaining EOL care, but the modern Western medical system very often utilizes aggressive therapeutic and technological methods aimed at maximal life prolongation (Heyland et al., 2013). It is emphasized that during the conclusion of one’s life, one is often supplied with support measures even though they only desire to gain comfort care (Heyland et al., 2013).
Thus, there are several problems involved in this situation. First, the patients gain not what they wish to receive, but rather what is considered best for them by some medics, which results in the dissatisfaction of the patient. Second, costs and other resources are spent on supplying treatment that no one wants. Therefore, it might be recommended to better take into account the needs of the elderly patient, which may also allow for releasing resources that can be used to help people who wish to gain that help.
Student 2 Perspective
The U.S. health care system is perhaps one of the best health care systems in the world. However, this still does not mean that there is no wasteful spending in it. It is stated that the U.S. economy could save a large amount of money if certain aspects of the American health care system are optimized.
More specifically, Sahni, Chigurupati, Kocher, and Cutler (2015) in their article argue that the U.S. could save up to $1 trillion if all the waste in its medical system is eliminated. The authors stress that an estimated 35% of health care spending is wasted. The largest proportion of these funds, 14%, are spent on clinical waste; these costs that could be lowered if more effective standard procedures of care were used, disease prevention was more efficacious, and better medical services were provided for the patient initially (Sahni et al., 2015). Another 9% of health care spending is used to cover ineffective administrative procedures such as billing, oversight, and credentialing (Sahni et al., 2015). Next, 7% of current health care spending could be saved if fraud, abuse, and illegitimate provision of medical care in the health delivery system were dealt with (Sahni et al., 2015). Finally, 5% of the money used in medicine is wasted due to excessive prices, that is, those resulting from purchasing resources (e.g., medications) and services (health care) from inefficient suppliers or providers (Sahni et al., 2015).
Consequently, it is crucial to address the causes of waste in the U.S. health care system to save the mentioned money, which then could be utilized for other purposes (e.g., medical research or serving more patients). It is pivotal to develop efficacious health care policy (Sahni et al., 2015), but hospitals, health care professionals, and leaders should also strive to reduce waste by implementing more effective routines and better working with the patients.
Student 3 Perspective
For a health care system to be effective, it is vital to constantly watch out for problems that might exist in it and to take measures aimed at removing these problems. In today’s U.S. health care system, there exist a large number of issues that are to be addressed if the system is to become effective.
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For example, in her article, Palmer (2013) outlines some of the major problems existing in the American health care system that greatly decrease the quality of medical care and the satisfaction of the patient, and also waste a large number of resources. The author stresses that nearly 30% of health care spending is wasted. In particular, it is pointed out that medics often provide unnecessary services–for example, order unneeded tests (e.g., just to demonstrate that they made much effort to diagnose). This not only leads to wasted money but sometimes can harm the patients as well; for instance, when imaging services are provided, patients are exposed to radiation, which increases the likelihood of cancer (Palmer, 2013). Another example is the ineffective execution of medical care; according to various studies, nearly 1/3 to 1/4 of all patients admitted to hospitals have “some type of negative incident associated with it” (Palmer, 2013, para. 10-11). Ineffective administration also consumes money, as do inflated prices; it is stated that some hospitals can charge $50 and more for each pair of gloves used by the doctor, whereas others may charge patients $10 for a small paper cup in which medications are dispensed (Palmer, 2013). These problems often result in tremendous waste spending and patient dissatisfaction.
Therefore, it is essential to uncover and deal with the many problems which exist in today’s American health care system. The money saved by addressing these problems could be used for much better purposes, such as providing health care for those who are not currently covered by health insurance (Palmer, 2013).
Palmer, P. (2013). Six wasteful practices in United States healthcare spending. Web.
Heyland, D. K., Barwich, D., Pichora, D., Dodek, P., Lamontagne, F., You, J. J.,…Simon, J. (2013). Failure to engage hospitalized elderly patients and their families in advance care planning. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(9), 778-787.
Sahni, N., Chigurupati, A., Kocher, B., & Cutler, D. M. (2015). How the U.S. can reduce waste in health care spending by $1 trillion. Harvard Business Review. Web.