Future Direction of Health Care

The future direction of health care has begun to make dramatic changes in the last year. With the new Healthcare Reform Bill in effect, many of those Americans that do not currently have health care coverage are going to be able to have it now. There has been a lot of controversy over whether or not this bill is a good idea and if it will help or hurt the American public. Other advancements in medical records have also impacted how patient information is stored. The Affordable Care Act has gone into effect slowly over the last year and will begin to have a positive effect on both business owners and their employees.

According to The White House Blog, the new Affordable Care Act will, “provide tremendous benefits for employers, including tax credits for small business and savings for employers” (Cutter, 2010). Looking towards the future of health care as an administrator, the Affordable Care Act will be beneficial to many companies. It will provide coverage to all employees and possibly save the company money in the long run. Part of the reason the Affordable Care Act has been put into action is to help those who insurance companies have turned down or those that could not afford insurance.

Before reform, cancer patients and individuals suffering from other serious and chronic diseases were often forced to limit or go without treatment because of an insurer’s lifetime limit on their coverage. (“The affordable health,” 2010) Insurance companies have been out to make money for a long time now and they are not able to make money if they accept sick patients. Not only is this morally and ethically wrong, but now it is going to be against the law too. Everyone deserves to have the same health care across the board, not just those that can afford it.

There should not be a price put on the amount of someone’s health and future. Advancement in the health care world includes the invention and implementation of electronic medical records and health records. When electronic medical records are in place, the need for most paper documentation is eliminated, as well as having to store all of the paper documentation. This would take the idea of “Going Green” and recycling to a new level if all health care facilities would start using electronic medical records.

Another advantage of electronic medical records is the ability for all in a health care team to coordinate care. This helps avoid duplication of testing, prescribing medicines that in combination might be dangerous and the ability for anyone on the medical team to understand the approaches taken to a condition. A person with complex health issues may see several specialists, and can easily become confused by overlapping or contrary advice. (Christensen, 2010) Not only does having medical records electronic make things much more efficient, it will make documenting patient information much quicker.

Getting lab results, x-rays, pathology reports and prescriptions entered without error due to poor handwriting or having items get “lost” on the way back are both benefits of electronic medical records. The term pay for performance or value-based purchasing is set up to reward hospitals, physicians and all other health care providers for meeting a predetermined set of measures of quality and performance. As the baby boomer generation is getting older, health care is making changes to accommodate them. Pay for performance will reward those hospitals and physicians that use safe practices.

This means that they do not have any medical errors, hospital based infections or injury that results in additional medical attention. Hospitals can use the Patient Safety Guidelines to help ensure safe practices are being established and followed. A new payment system which rewards providers for maximizing the impact of preventive care may help to contain rising healthcare costs. (Montgomery, 2007) By implementing pay for performance, doctors are rewarded for using preventative measures such as mammography, colonoscopies and diet counseling to help keep patients healthy.

The largest problem with pay for performance health care is getting everyone to agree upon the quality of standards. The quality of the care that is being given needs to be consistent across the board, that way there is a positive outcome for the patients. Maintaining a skilled workforce is also important in keeping patients healthy and happy, this includes continuing education for doctors, nurses and ancillary staff. Hospitals can have education fairs once a year to help ensure that their staff has the ost up-to-date information that is coming out.

Nurses and Surgical Technologist both have continuing education credits that need to be completed in order to maintain certification. According to the Association for Surgical Technologist’s website, the main goal of continuing education is to provide, “you with the highest quality continuing education programs are a primary element in AST’s mission. AST is committed to keeping you prepared for the unexpected, so that patients always receive the best possible care” (“Continuing education,” 2009).

Overall, health care is changing many ways and there are many challenges that need to be faced and obstacles overcome. Hospitals and other health care facilities are going to need to adapt to these changes and grab ahold of the new technology that is arising. In the long run, companies and organizations should be looking into technology to help guide the new information that is coming out and education to train their employees about the new technology and information.





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