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Medical Care Culture

• Health care planners could be more effective and efficient if they used the concept of the natural history of disease and the levels of prevention to design services that intervene at the weakest link in the chain of progression of specific diseases. Instead, most focus on high-technology solutions to preventable problems. Assess the characteristics of the medical care culture that encourage the latter approach.

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You need to determine the players in the health care culture before determining motives and characteristics. The standard model has two players: the patient and the provider, usually a physician but in the U.S. that also includes nurse practioners and physician assistants. The actual scenario includes the following players:
1. The patient
2. The provider
3. The hospital system to which that provider belongs
4. Third-party payers, whether it is private insurance companies or the government

1. Patient characteristics (all of these pertain to the U.S. environment. I can't speak for other countries or cultures
a. Instant gratification. Whether the issue is pain, acute illness, or chronic illness, today's American patient wants instant cures. High-tech can provide that while preventive care cannot and requires effort on the patient's part. The best example (and very common) is Adult-Onset Diabetes (DMII) which is a disease of poor lifestyle decisions. The Type II diabetic is hard to treat and will not modify his or her lifestyle to prevent further complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and poor circulation. Eating low on the glycemic index, exercising, practicing proper hygiene, and not smoking are interventions that will prevent or at the very least delay dialysis, amputation, and coronary bypass ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the medical care culture.