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The US Healthcare Delivery System

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Healthcare organization and delivery must be able to meet the needs of the society. This necessitates tailoring of healthcare organization and delivery to suit the society needs. Failure to conform to the contemporary needs would make the healthcare system unable to improve the health society's health status. Various factors affect healthcare organization and delivery. Access to health insurance and demographic changes are some of the main factors that affect the American healthcare organization and delivery.

The US census bureau estimates that by 2020, there would be more than 53 million adults over 65 years old. These groups of people have various long-term ailments and require frequent medical care. However, only a small percentage of the elderly are institutionalized in nursing homes. This necessitates extensive home management and nursing support services for the elderly who live in their homes and within the community. Nursing support services are aimed at making the elderly feel as part of the community. Increase in the number of the elderly would have a major impact on healthcare delivery. It would lead to a shift in health care focus from acute to chronic illnesses, which are prevalent in the elderly and an increase in the shortage of healthcare workers. This would lead to changes in healthcare interventions from correcting a single problem to ongoing management that would help the patient cope with the problem rather than cure the disease. Increase in the number would lead to an acute shortage of healthcare providers (Wiener & Tilly, 2002). This may necessitate the government to offer high wages to attract and retain more nurses.

Healthcare provision is a technology intensive field. There has been a rapid increase in scientific knowledge and technology related to healthcare provision. This has led to improved diagnostic procedures and development of equipment that detect various diseases at an early stage. In addition, new pharmaceutical companies are continuously manufacturing new drugs that treat diseases more effectively. Various surgical procedures on heart, liver, and lungs did not exist just a few years ago. Technology makes it possible for patients to receive treatment without visiting hospitals. However, technological advancements lead to an increase in the cost of healthcare. This places a greater financial burden on patients and their families. Technological advancements will continue playing a major role in healthcare provision in the near future. Technological advancements would increase the efficiency of healthcare provision in the US.

One of the major areas that promise to have rapid changes is the accessibility of health record of the patient. In future, patients and doctors would be able to access medical history online. Patients may be able to access their medical history via a smart card (Spekowius & Wendler, 2006). This necessitates the formulation of policies that would increase the security of the medical record of the patient. This would ensure that patient’s medical history is safe and may not used by unscrupulous individuals to the detriment of the patient. Improved security would also ensure that medical practitioners use the patient’s medical history for the right purposes. The government should formulate policies that would help standardize records formats and nomenclature (Anon, 2004). Standardization would make it easier for healthcare consumer and healthcare administrator interpret the medical record efficiently.

Increased number of the elderly may lead to privatization of long-term care and Medicare to help address future burdens of an aging population. Privatization would reduce the financial burden of healthcare provision on the government due to the aging population. Long-term care insurance is one of the methods that the government may use to reduce the financial burden due to the aging population (Wiener & Tilly, 2002).

There has been a steady rise in the cost of healthcare in the US. In fact, the US has one of the highest costs of healthcare provision. Technological advancements are partly to blame for the increasing costs of healthcare provision (Glaser & Salzberg, 2011). This necessitates the government to step in and prevent further increase in the costs to make healthcare affordable to all Americans.

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