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    HCO and the Underserved Patient

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    The potential impact that the underserved patients have on a healthcare organization's:

    a.Staff levels, particularly skilled nursing and other health professionals.
    b.Human resource management and development.
    c.Technology advancements.
    d.Organizational restructuring.
    e.Financial solvency.
    f.Development of community health support services.
    g.Communication with key stakeholders in the community, government.

    Please provide references.

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    Solution Preview

    Please see response attached (see below as well), including two supporting articles. I hope this helps and take care.



    This is an interesting research project. I am wondering where you are with your research. Let's take a closer look through discussion, example, and links for further research, which you can then draw on for your final copy.

    The potential impact that the underserved patients have on a healthcare organization's:

    Underserved Populations: An Overview

    Since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has produced a National Healthcare Disparities Report examining measures of quality in "priority populations," including racial and ethnic minority groups as well as women, children, the elderly, low-income patients, residents of rural areas, and individuals with special health care needs. This and other research has shown disparities in health status based on race and ethnicity. For example, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans suffer disproportionately from chronic disease, cancer, and infectious disease. Native Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to have diabetes, while nearly half the women with new HIV infections are African American. Some health disparities can be explained by differences in income, insurance status, and medical need. However, there is increasing evidence that racial and ethnic disparities persist even after accounting for these factors. These disparities may result from a lack of data on specific populations, miscommunication between doctors and patients, physician bias, health system failures, or other causes. Key strategies to address health disparities include using targeted quality improvement strategies, improving patient education and outreach, ensuring access to health care services in minority communities, encouraging cultural competency training for health professionals, and increasing the number of minorities in health professions. Collecting data on the quality of care for racial and ethnic minorities can help to promote effective strategies. Patients who do not speak English well and those with low health literacy report problems understanding medical instructions or communicating with their providers, which often result in medical errors or poor compliance with recommended treatment. Providing trained medical interpreters is one way to improve patient-provider communication. Offering culturally competent health care?broadly defined as services that are respectful of and responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of patients?not only could reduce racial and ethnic disparities, but also improve the quality of care for vulnerable populations. http://www.cmwf.org/General/General_show.htm?doc_id=319068

    a. Staff levels, particularly skilled nursing and other health professionals.

    The potential impact that the underserved patients (e.g., elderly, AIDS patients, rural areas, to name a few) have on staff levels, particularly skilled nursing and other health professionals is not clear-cut. If the government regulations and laws continue to restrict this population of patients (e.g., closing rural hospitals, limited the types of treatment for AIDS patients, etc.), staff levels particularly skilled nursing and other health professionals will indeed decrease. There will less need for this group of professionals, with more need for specialists and doctors, than nurses and other healthcare professionals (nurses, social workers, etc.).

    For example, in response to divisive efforts by the American Medical Association (AMA) and other physician groups to limit the ability of licensed health care professionals to provide care to millions of patients (closing rural hospitals, etc.), the newly formed Coalition for Patients' Rights (CPR) today urged all health care professionals to work together to counter the AMA's actions. The CPR is especially concerned about efforts by the AMA and other physician groups that have formed the "Scope of Practice Partnership" to study the work and qualifications of "allied health professionals" in rural and underserved areas.

    "Limiting the ability of health care professionals to practice and provide appropriate care will place an enormous burden on the health care system," remarked Barbara Blakeney, MS, RN, President of the American Nurses Association, which is a member of the coalition. "As leaders of the health community, this coalition seeks to maintain the broadest range of provider choices for everyone," said Blakeney. The coalition questions the objectives of the AMA and other physician organizations when they seek to advise consumers, regulators, policymakers and insurers on the ability of other health care professionals to offer the services they are allowed by law to provide. Health care providers are a critical source of care for patients throughout the United States, especially those who live in rural areas and medically underserved urban areas. Historically, people who live in rural areas have relied on a strong array of practitioners to meet their health care needs. Advanced practice registered nurses, social workers, and other professions that require rigorous educational preparation and ongoing instruction and certification are the backbone of not just the rural health care system, but the entire health care structure in the United States. http://www.patientsrightscoalition.org/news/

    And, it is questioned by the CPR about the quality of the rural qualifications assessments: "Organizations representing medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathy (DOs) are not in the best position to conduct a balanced and fair assessment of an issue that directly affects patient reimbursement," said Mitchell H. Tobin, JD, Senior Director of Professional Practice Affairs for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, also a member of the coalition (see http://www.patientsrightscoalition.org/news/).

    Also see http://www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/spotlight_item4.html.

    b. Human resource management and development.

    It is expected that as the underserved patients have limited choices due to laws and regulations regarding who can be treated and who cannot be treated (e.g., closing rural hospitals, demanding the relocation of healthcare practitioners, and thus a decrease in community health projects), but also due to ethnic and racial disparities. For example, NMA's membership is comprised of physicians in primary care specialties, as well as other medical and surgical sub-specialties, academic medicine, military medicine and medical administration. NMA members serve a disproportionately high number of underserved patients who are African American or members of ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution explains the overall potential impact that the underserved patients have on a healthcare organization in terms of the following factors: (a) staff levels, particularly skilled nursing and other health professionals, (b) human resource management and development, (c) technology advancements, (d) organizational restructuring, (e) financial solvency, (f) development of community health support services, (g) communication with key stakeholders in the community, government. References are provided. Supplemented with two highly informative articles on specialization and rural care.