NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Health Care Issues, Policies, and Strategies

Introduction

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Health care facilities and people find different problems and challenges related to access to health care, cost of care, standards of care, quality of care, practice, access to care and other issues (Geurden, Adriaenssens & Franck, 2014). To address these problems, guidelines, laws, and regulations need to be developed and implemented. Collectively, this is referred as health care policies. According to World Health Organization (WHO), definition of health care policy is collection of plans, decisions, and actions undertaken to address specific health care problems within a community, society or area to fulfill the goals (WHO, 2018). For example, Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a health policy, which has many other sub-policies in it, which include quality of care, cost, Medicaid, patient privacy and safety and other policies. The purpose of the paper is to explain the importance of health care policy and its effects on nursing. Further, paper defines advocacy, its role and impact on the health care policies. The paper also identifies two health care problems and analyze the problem to implement strategies to address the problems. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Implications of Health Care Policies on Nursing Practice 

Nursing is a dynamic field where nurses have to practice based on modern guidelines, regulations, policies, and legislation. The very first impact of policies on practice is changing in method of treatment and process (Geurden, Adriaenssens & Franck, 2014). Nurses have to follow the new processes and it affects their work process. For example, use of tabards in health care can affect nurses both positively and negatively. Some may prefer to wear tabards and some may not. This effect is related to work routine. 

The second impact is related to treatment. Introduction new treatment or the nursing informatics system affects actual practice where nurses have to gain knowledge about the treatment or process before practicing (Loversidge, 2016). It may delay their nursing practice and it may also affect the quality of care either positively or negatively. Nurses also face issues such as communication inefficiency issues if they do not get right information in time, which affect standard of care. 

The third impact is practice regulations where nurse’s access or roles gets extended or limited. For example, policies related to licensing and practice leverage affects nursing roles. Nurses have to adhere to such regulations to continue their nursing practice. The fourth impact is related to cost of the care (Loversidge, 2016). ACA allowed nurses to practice patient-centered care to increase quality of care and reduce cost of care. For example, hospital readmission reduction policies reduce cost of health care and immortality rate. 

The fifth impact is related to patients where guidelines are given to the patients and communities to get the best care possible. It increases effectiveness in health care access and delivery of care. Nurses have to educate patients so that patient understands the importance and benefits of the policies (Juma, Edwards & Spitzer, 2014). For example, vaccination policies reduce diseases. However, nurses have to make use of community-based programs to educate communities in a better way. Other impacts include increase in skills, planning, processing decision-making mechanism, collaboration, patient satisfaction, and work culture (AbuAlRub & Foudeh, 2016). 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Role of Advocacy 

Nurses have to take the role of advocacy. The main reason is they understand the health care services, their effectiveness and patients better than others as they spend most of their time with patients. Advocacy roles include advocating for change in policy, decision-making, community advocacy, patient advocacy and advocating for change in workplace and treatments (Dadzie, Aziato & Graft Aikins, 2018). For example, nurses have better knowledge about different health care issues in their communities. If the community is suffering from diabetes or obesity, it is important to create a policy, which will better the lifestyle of community through different programs. Advocacy in health care is process, planning and designing policies, action plans and procedures through suggestions, case studies, and reports address a health care problem in communities. 

How Advocacy Can Impact Healthcare Policy

As the nurses advocate for change in certain policies or the creation of new policy though evidence and documentation, it gives legislators better idea about the problem. Further, nurses can design solutions and processes to achieve it by doing different analyses such as cost analysis, treatment effectiveness analysis, and other analyses (Gerber, 2018). Further, advocacy increases authenticity of input as nurses are involved. It allows legislators to create and propose the policies in parliament in a better way (Dadzie, Aziato & Graft Aikins, 2018). As role of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) is increasing in health care policies, advocacy is beneficial. Further, advocating patients, co-workers and society also increases the quality of health care and lifestyle of community. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Role of Advocacy Is Consistent With the Responsibilities of an APRN

Advocacy has become the core and ethics of nursing practice as it reduces complexities in health care by considering health care, patients, policies, nurses and community and problems related to them to create an effective solution (Gerber, 2018). APRNs role includes advocacy as they can collaborate with elected officials in decision-making. As nurses have responsibilities and obligations to provide quality care and increase patient’s health, it is their responsibility to assess and report any problem, which affects patient health in negative way. For example, if the patients are suffering from infections due to hospital environment and or any other reason, nurses have to advocate for action plan, which can solve the issue (Dadzie, Aziato & Graft Aikins, 2018). 

It is nurses’ responsibility to participate in the legislative process and provide input and expert testimony to influence policy decisions. Further, advocacy helps nursing profession and nursing practice as policymakers can take decisions, which might have negative effects on nursing practice and practice environment (Gerber, 2018). For example, patients in urban areas face different health challenges compared to patients in rural areas. If same policies and models are applied to both the areas then results obtained might not be effective. As a result, it is important to modify policies to suit the need and demands. As these comes under nurse’s responsibilities, advocacy aligns with APRN roles (Dadzie, Aziato & Graft Aikins, 2018). 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Healthcare Policy Concern

Respiratory health issues are increasing due to climate change and pollution in the environment. One of the major causes or reasons is wildfire as it leads to smoke and minute particles of inflammatory specks of dust entering the human body (NHS, 2019). Recent wildfire in California raised concerns relating to lung diseases and respiratory problems. For example, smoke in the Sun Valley Recycling Center leads to children inhale toxic smoke. It resulted in inflammation, severe cough, dry throat, respiratory inflammation, Asthma, and nasal issues. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analyzed the situation and reported that the smoke generated was not from a hazardous material. However, the smoke negatively affects the citizens (Garcia de Jesus, 2019). It includes toxins such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Further, wildfire burns everything in its way including hazardous materials. This will result in hazardous materials and chemicals in the atmosphere (Hayden, 2019). This is why it is important to address the issue of smoke-generated issues. 

The occurrence of Smoke Related Issues

Wildfire also increases the need for emergency health care system, which helps in providing faster health care services to the community. Further, preventing health care concerns after breakout of wildfire or smoke can reduce negative effects of smoke on children and community (Younsi, 2015). Smoke affects everyone including wildlife and environment. This issue is higher in areas where vegetation and wildlife are spread across the area (NHS, 2019). In summer, chances of wildfire are very high due to friction of leaves and trees creating fire. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Impact of Health Care Concern upon the Community and Population Group

As explained, the direct impact of the selected health care concern is related to respiratory problems and lung diseases (NHS, 2019). Further, there are other issues related to health care concerns. They are it affects the health care delivery system where precaution and emergency preparedness affects treatment process and recovery process. Failure to add emergency system results in increased health care costs. Another issue is related to time. As smoke stays in the atmosphere for longer period of time, it affects health of neighboring areas and communities negatively (CDC, 2019). 

Solutions to the Selected Healthcare Concern

The solution is a policy, which includes three strategies or solutions for the smoke and wildfire-related health care concerns. The very first strategy is to provide smoke masks to the community and schools. The second solution is implementing prevention and precaution mechanisms where community is educated about the smoke-related issues and how to stay safe if there is a breakout of wildfire or fire. Also establishing communication channels to provide support helps in reducing panic and increasing patient satisfaction (CDC, 2019). The third solution is to maintain the resources and provide emergency services by following emergency guidelines to treat the patients without patients waiting in the waiting area for longer period of time. Emergency fire and the smoke management program need to be efficiently implemented with a better response rate (Su, Lin & Qian, 2018). These three solutions are integrated with treatment method and process to increase quality of care and access to care. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Positive Outcome If the Solution Was Implemented

The policy first increases health literacy in the community. As a result, people will be more attentive towards climate change and wildfire. As the emergency system allows nurses to prepare for natural calamities or health care needs, the quality of the care can be increased. Further, training, providing guidelines and maintaining nurse workforce can reduce health care complexities (CDC, 2019). Masks, prevention and precaution mechanism aids in limiting the smoke entering the respiratory system. Treatment helps in reducing issues such as asthma, irritation, inflammation, lung diseases, and throat issues. Collectively, this policy reduces health care costs and hospital admission rates. 

Measurable Actions, and Changes in Communities and Population Group

Measurable actions are implementing all three solutions. For example, use of masks reduces the smoke particles entering the respiratory system. Nurses have to educate patients and community to follow the treatment, medicine, and guidelines to treat smoke-related issues. Schools need to have masks in emergency situations. Policy needs to be implemented by considering geographic and socioeconomic status of the community to provide cost-effective health care service. The very first change in community is using health care guidelines to stay safe when there is an emergency situation such as wildfire (CDC, 2019). They should increase knowledge to increase lifestyle and protect the community. Further, community has to provide inputs regarding health care issues they are facing due to smoke. The use of masks and helpline centers can also increase awareness in community. The community has to have community-based practice and programs where nurses, health care and community work together to implement the solutions effectively. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Two Challenges and Proposed Solution

The very first challenge is cost and resource management associated with the policy. As schools have to keep the masks and health care has to maintain the resources, it is important to control the cost. Increased shortage in nursing staff and cost in health care affects emergency treatment and waiting time negatively. To eliminate this problem, nurse staff needs to be maintained and schools have to buy masks and store them in safe areas. As the occurrence of the issue is not frequent, cost only increases only when there is an emergency. 

The second challenge is the prevention of wildfire and smoke as smoke cannot be managed very easily. The smoke management system should be part of the emergency system where environment department and California Air Resources Board stays active during summer or seasons where chances of wildfire are high. The health care system has to integrate with the environment department to provide emergency care. 

Identification of Elected Official

Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician and a State Senator from Sacramento, California. As Dr. Richard Pan himself is a pediatrician and has knowledge about health care, he is fit for the policy. Further, he has worked on health care policies relating to economic development, community, vaccine exemptions, Sacramento Health Improvement Project, access to primary health care and he was the chair of healthy kid’s healthy future (Pan, 2019). As he has worked to pass different policies relating to healthcare, his experiences help in passing the policy. 

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Conclusion

Smoke and wildfire-generated health care issues include asthma, cough, dry throat, irritation, lung diseases, inflammation, and other diseases. The proposed policy addresses the issues by including emergency plans, masks for protection, prevention mechanism, cost of health care, treatment, smoke management, education, training and creating helpline system. The solutions are documented and presented to senator Dr. Richard Pan so that policy can be implemented effectively and efficiently. 

References

AbuAlRub, R., & Foudeh, F. (2016). Jordanian Nurses’ involvement in health policy: perceived benefits and barriers. International Nursing Review, 64(1), 13-21. doi: 10.1111/inr.12249

CDC. (2019). Wildfire smoke. Retrieved 5 November 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html

Dadzie, G., Aziato, L., & Graft Aikins, A. (2018). Patient characteristics that influence the advocacy role of nurses in ghana: a qualitative study. Journal Of Nursing & Patient Care03(01). doi: 10.4172/2573-4571.1000121

Garcia de Jesus, E. (2019). Invisible wildfire smoke has visible health impacts. Eos, 100. doi: 10.1029/2019eo113561

Gerber, L. (2018). Understanding the nurseʼs role as a patient advocate. Nursing48(4), 55-58. doi: 10.1097/01.nurse.0000531007.02224.65

Geurden, B., Adriaenssens, J., & Franck, E. (2014). Impact of evidence and health policy on nursing practice. Nursing Clinics Of North America49(4), 545-553. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2014.08.009

Hayden, N. (2019). Is fire burning in Thermal hazardous? Recurring smoke exposure a health concern, officials say. Retrieved 4 November 2019, from https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/health/2019/10/28/constant-smoke-exposure-thermal-health-concern-officials-say/2483105001/

NR 506 Week 2 Identification of Healthcare Policy Concern

Juma, P., Edwards, N., & Spitzer, D. (2014). Kenyan nurses involvement in national policy development processes. Nursing Research And Practice2014, 1-10. doi: 10.1155/2014/236573

Loftis, M., & Mortensen, P. (2017). A dynamic linear modelling approach to public policy change. Journal Of Public Policy, 38(4), 553-579. doi: 10.1017/s0143814x17000186

Loversidge, J. (2016). A call for extending the utility of evidence-based practice: adapting ebp for health policy impact. Worldviews On Evidence-Based Nursing13(6), 399-401. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12183

Loversidge, J. (2016). An evidence-informed health policy model: adapting evidence-based practice for nursing education and regulation. Journal Of Nursing Regulation7(2), 27-33. doi: 10.1016/s2155-8256(16)31075-4

Nhs. (2019). Effects of smoking on the body | Smokefree. Retrieved 4 November 2019, from https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/smoking-health-problems

Pan, R. (2019). Biography. Retrieved 4 November 2019, from https://sd06.senate.ca.gov/biography

Su, P., Lin, D., & Qian, C. (2018). Study on air pollution and control investment from the perspective of the environmental theory model: A Case Study in China, 2005–2014. Sustainability10(2181). doi: doi:10.3390/su10072181

WHO. (2018). Health care policy. Retrieved 4 November 2019, from https://www.who.int/topics/health_policy/en/

Younsi, M. (2015). Health-related quality-of-life measures: evidence from tunisian population using the sf-12 health survey. Value In Health Regional Issues7, 54-66. doi: 10.1016/j.vhri.2015.07.004

Leave a Reply