Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues
Discussion Review of Current Healthcare Issues
Global healthcare systems are facing unprecedented times and uncertain future based on the current situation of Covid-19 pandemic. This has prompted quick adoption of technology in healthcare systems from booking of appointments to billing. Therefore, I believe one of the major current healthcare issues is on technology disruption. Much questions have been raised on the big data usage, incorporation of telehealth, synchronization of the national health data systems and on the confidentiality and security of the patient’s health records as cases of cybersecurity have soared with increased adoption of information technology in healthcare (Sittig et al., 2018).
Big data in healthcare systems refers to the accumulation of large sets of digital information about the patients’ biodata, medical history, clinical interventions, current and past medical concerns of the patients. This data is accumulated overtime rather than that which is received in small amounts and not stored for future references (Thew, 2016). This prompts the healthcare nurse informatics to employ the use of data analytics and data mining tools so that they can extract meaningful patterns, study the correlation and develop predictions (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). Use big data has proved to be essential in healthcare management especially when analyzed and used to inform critical decision-making points and even guide future evidence-based change projects (Byrd et al, 2018). This information is used by managers and administrators to identify patterns and areas of strength and weakness within the system and help plan in resource allocation.
However, big data faces one of the greatest security challenges especially on the confidentiality of the patient’s information. Cases of cyber insecurity have been rising since most healthcare facilities and organizations adopted use of technology to manage the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The patient’s confidential data may be easily accessed if the systems security checks are not well enforced. In some of the online platforms like Amazon, for online shopping, the systems put in adequate security checks and user authentication and verification steps. The breech of patient’s confidential medical information could have adverse effects on the healthcare facility or organization hence incur a lot of expenses in terms of compensation and in the end the reputation of the organization will also be severely damaged.
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Therefore, it is imperative for healthcare organizations and systems that procure any digital platform for managing healthcare records to invest heavily on ensuring the system is safe and secure from cyber security threats and phishing on patient’s data (Bibhuranjan, 2019). Moreover, there is need to improve the software technology to develop systems that are less susceptible to hacking. It is also essential to ensure that patients are well educated on ways of safely using the digital platforms and there should be readily accessible customer care agent to help patient’s carry out proper verification and maintain safety of their data.
Increased usage of digital platforms and information technology poses another safety threat to the patients as they are likely to seek for medical advice from online blogs and unverified media sources that could be misleading to the patients. This information collected on such blogs has no scientifically proven or evidence-based data to support the claims or the medical advice offered. Moreover, the information could be provided by individuals who have no professional training in the areas that they are providing the medical information. There has been rapid increase in blogs from unregistered dietician and fitness coaches whose methods are not scientifically viable to rely on as professional medical procedures. Many patients have fallen prey to such misleading information that even sometimes discourages the use of conventional medication and clinical intervention measures (Young, 2016).
In conclusion, it is imperative for the federal and state government to come up with strict measures, laws and policies that govern the use of information technology in healthcare. The guidelines should be clear and the regulations must be standardized to enhance security of the patients’ data and also safeguard them from unverified and unethical practices and information availed to them on social media platforms. Any digital platforms or media engaging in medical or clinical information must have passed the licensure criteria that would be guided by strict conformity to the ethical issues in healthcare and meets the set standards.
Bibhuranjan. (2019). Big data analytics – How beneficial is it for healthcare? Technofaq. https://technofaq.org/posts/2019/05/big-data-analytics-how-beneficial-is-it-for-healthcare/#:~:text=%20Big%20Data%20Analytics-%20Benefits%20in%20the%20Healthcare,is%20very%20important%20for%20any%20organization…%20More
Byrd, T.A., Kung, L., & Wang, Y. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3-13. doi:10. 1016/j.techfore.2015.12.019
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Sittig, D. F., Wright, A., Coiera, E., Magrabi, F., Ratwani, R., Bates, D. W., & Singh, H. (2018). Current challenges in health information technology–related patient safety. Health Informatics Journal, 26(1), 146045821881489. https://doi.org/10.1177/1460458218814893
Thew, J. (2016). Big data means big potential, changes for nurse execs. HealthLeaders. https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/big-data-means-big-potential-challenges-nurse-execs
Young, A. (2016). The pros and cons of big data in the healthcare industry. HealthCareZone. https://www.healthtechzone.com/topics/healthcare/articles/2016/11/18/427248-pros-cons-big-data-the-healthcare-industry.htm
A national healthcare issue of concern is the perennial nursing shortage. Statistics at national and
international levels show that the shortage of healthcare worker (HCWs) is profound and affects effective and quality service delivery. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that nursing shortage could hit 12.9 million by 2035 (Marc et al., 2018). Nursing shortage creates unsafe working environment and increases fatigue, high turnover rates, and make nurses susceptible to medication administration errors. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation as the demand for healthcare services has increased, leading to more strain and burden on nurses, especially those working in critical care settings and others with elderly patient populations with chronic and terminal conditions.
Nursing shortage has impacted my work setting negatively as we enhance efforts to provide care to a patient diversity coming to the facility. Low staff retention, reduced levels of patient’s satisfaction, and a rise in hospital acquired infections are some of the negative effects of nursing shortage in our facility. When patient workload exceeds the available shift nurses, patients experience low levels of satisfaction. Unsafe staffing ratios contribute to burnout and high turnover rates (Alenezi et al., 2018). Further, increased length of stay happens due to higher nurse-to-patient ratios lead to more complications and a rise of hospital acquired infections.
Many healthcare settings are struggling in responding to nursing shortage because of the few options available (Marshall & Broome, 2017). Our facility is now leveraging technologies like telehealth to enhance access and quality for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension who require constant monitoring. While studies show that nursing supply may exceed demand in the near future, using technologies and innovative models like increased training and flexibility can help organizations mitigate the adverse effects of nursing shortage.
Alenezi, A. M., Aboshaiqah, A., & Baker, O. (2018). Work‐related stress among nursing staff
working in government hospitals and primary health care centers. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 24(5). doi: 10.1111/ijn.12676
Marc, M., Bartosiewicz, A., Burzynska, J., Chmiel, Z., & Januszewicz, P. (2018). A
nursing shortage – a prospect of global and local policies. International Nursing Review, 66(1), 9-16. DOI: 10.1111/inr.12473.
Marshall, E. S., & Broome, M. E. (2017). Transformational leadership in nursing: From expert
clinician to influential leader (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer
Discussion: Review of Current Healthcare Issues
If you were to ask 10 people what they believe to be the most significant issue facing healthcare today, you might get 10 different answers. Escalating costs? Regulation? Technology disruption?
These and many other topics are worthy of discussion. Not surprisingly, much has been said in the research, within the profession, and in the news about these topics. Whether they are issues of finance, quality, workload, or outcomes, there is no shortage of changes to be addressed.
In this Discussion, you examine a national healthcare issue and consider how that issue may impact your work setting. You also analyze how your organization has responded to this issue.
Review the Resources and select one current national healthcare issue/stressor to focus on.
Reflect on the current national healthcare issue/stressor you selected and think about how this issue/stressor may be addressed in your work setting.
Post a description of the national healthcare issue/stressor you selected for analysis, and explain how the healthcare issue/stressor may impact your work setting. Then, describe how your health system work setting has responded to the healthcare issue/stressor, including a description of what changes may have been implemented. Be specific and provide examples
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