The rapidly changing composition of the population considerably affects the health care system. The universal approach, addressing in similar way patients of different ages, races, and cultures, has demonstrated its inadequacy. Thus, healthcare professionals need to consider these variables while making a treatment plan for different population groups’ representatives. In this paper, it will be discussed which aspects of population diversity affect the health care system, and how might health care leaders determine appropriate nursing and care delivery models to address rapidly changing populations.
Among all issues related to population diversity, three are the most essential in the context of challenges to the health care system. The first matter of consideration is the problem of the aging population. While in 1950, the population aged over 65 represented about 8 percent of the total US population, the number is expected to rise to 20 percent in 2050 (Ensocare, 2017). As a result, health care organizations need more space and more staff prepared to work with aged patients. Thus, health care leaders should consider the statistics and ensure future expanding medical services through “partnership with other providers to create a complete continuum of care” (Ensocare, 2017, para. 3). Along with it, more nursing staff should be specialized in addressing end-of-life care issues.
The second population issue is racial diversity, which has an impact on the health care system as the representatives of different racial and ethnic groups have a different level of vulnerability to various diseases. In light of this, health care leaders are advised to rely on statistical data, such as the American Community Survey, while planning the organizational structure and staffing (Ensocare, 2017).
The third considerable aspect is a cultural and religious difference. As health care approaches may be unique in different cultures, such as Buddhists’ preference of non-pharmacological pain management, or the prohibition to eat and drink during the month of Ramadan for Muslims. These details must be taken into account while working with such patients. To ensure this approach, health care leaders should promote cultural sensitivity among medical staff.
In summary, in the context of rapidly changing populations, the health care system has to be prepared for changes. Aiming for this, team leaders should continuously monitor statistics and nurture sensitivity to various demographical aspects, including racial, religious, and cultural diversity. As a result, the health care system would achieve the ability to address the needs of rapidly changing populations.
Ensocare. (2017). How demographics impact healthcare delivery. Web.