Healthcare Delivery System and Barriers in the US


The healthcare delivery system in the United States is undergoing a rapid and comprehensive change in recent years. Its primary objectives are to ensure citizens are able to receive healthcare services for any medical issue, enable equity in access to these services, and increase levels of insurance and quality. However, the practicality of such an optimal delivery system is often constricted by political, societal, and financial barriers.

Facilities and Practice

Despite massive changes since the 2010 legislation, the current healthcare system does not hold the capacity to effectively translate research into clinical practice. The implementation of research seeks to update routine practice with the latest evidence-based methods and a range of interventions. However, a number of challenges exist across all disciplines, beginning with leadership and inability to identify barriers to implementation and ending with the lack of a competent auditing and feedback system. Other aspects such as the involvement of patients, communication with staff, provision of resources and education, supportive supervision are also lacking (Allanson et al., 2017).

Furthermore, there has been a focus on improving facilities and designing new buildings using innovative methods. First, a shift towards community-based health, requiring more primary care facilities and the subsequent grouping of these practices is evident. Meanwhile, strict budgetary restrictions have led to a lean thinking being prevalent as the allocation of space, and interacting flow are optimized through design. A comprehensive approach is taken towards improving the experience and quality of patient stay in order to attract new patients and maintain a fiscal balance (Fortenberry Jr. & McGoldrick, 2015).

Insurance and Access

The Affordable Care Act had a significant role in improving access to affordable quality healthcare. The uninsured rate has declined to 9.1% in 2015 (Obama, 2016). The system is complex and requires reform that will take decades to complete. It is critical to address various aspects ranging from access to care for minorities and vulnerable populations to the financial security of patients. Reforms have to consider the transformation of healthcare payment systems which are gradually shifting away from traditional Medicare payments, using bundled payments or accountable care organizations.

The important aspect lies in improving healthcare delivery to the public. This may require further federal regulation or the offering of public health plans in conditions of low market competition. Further control of reduced costs of prescription drugs and other federal financial assistance are critical aspects of increasing access to healthcare across the United States (Obama, 2016).

Efficiency and Modernization

The core modernization of the healthcare system is critical to meet the significant and complex demands of the system. It is important for the technology ecosystem to be adaptive to the standards and requirements of modern medicine evolution. Technology can optimize and shorten redundant processes, prevent human error, and provide efficient methods of regulation and governance. Meanwhile, analytics and big data support greater involvement of technology in the healthcare delivery process through assisting health professionals that seek to provide treatment based on available evidence. In combination with previous aspects, core technological development is a proficient business driver, able to manage billing, product development, and claims management.

The digitalization of hospital operations allows healthcare professionals to focus on interaction with the patient. HIPAA requirements of the Affordable Care Act have established high standards and objectives that must be attained for the improved quality of healthcare delivery. New models for the horizontal integration and minimization of risk should be developed (Saric, 2018).

References

Allanson, E. R., Tunçalp, Ö., Vogel, J. P., Khan, D. N., Oladapo, O. T., Long, Q., & Gülmezoglu, A. M. (2017). Implementation of effective practices in health facilities: A systematic review of cluster randomised trials. BMJ Global Health, 2(2), e000266. Web.

Fortenberry Jr., J. L., & McGoldrick, P. J. (2015). Internal marketing: A pathway for healthcare facilities to improve the patient experience. International Journal of Healthcare Management, 9(1), 28-33. Web.

Obama, B. (2016). United States health care reform: Progress to date and next steps. JAMA, 316(5), 525-532. Web.

Saric, A. (2018). Digital transformation: Tech challenges for healthcare modernization. Web.