Sample Healthcare Paper on Health Ethics

Introduction

The health care field is a very complex area of practice since the physicians or the administrators are faced with the challenge of making decisions, which can lead to conflict; therefore, high ethical standards are required. Most of the patients are also confronted with ethical challenges in a health care setting. At the top of the list of the ethical challenges is balancing between care, quality, and efficiency. This is a difficult and critical challenge that is prompted by the increase of pressure in the hospitals to cut the cost of providing health care while at the simultaneously improving on quality. Health resources, either financial or human, are scarce and limited, and therefore using these resources for the best outcome requires immense and appropriate planning so that resources are allocated to areas that may bring out the best result. Health care providers are faced with the need to make decisions so that funds are used prudently to satisfy the needs of the majority of the community and hence may be met by ethical conflict concerning resource allocation (Lee, 2017).

Hospitals and general health care focus on efficiency as an ethic of justice. Hospitals recognize limits in resources, and hence willing to balance the needs of many patients against each other. For example, the number of beds may be limited in a hospital, and the scarcity may persist. In the short term, the number of available beds is fixed since the need for increasing more beds is subject to a lot of infrastructural costs. When beds are available, the number of nurses may be limited too. Adding more nurses is financially prohibitive due to wages. Because of this problem of resource allocation in achieving quality and efficiency, a model of medical practice should be introduced that responds and reflects on real practice. Quality care is, therefore, a key component in the right to health and should, therefore, meet the highest quality criteria (Vayena,, et al 2017)

There are many viable solutions to improving quality and efficiency while at the same time considering affordable care to all patients. Since attaining health, equity is very urgent for all groups, and especially those that feel marginalized and discriminated, physicians caring directly for an individual client should understand the full needs of a patient and balance those wants against the requirements of other patients. The first step towards solving the issue of balancing care, quality, and efficiency is equitable distribution of outcomes of health so that everyone gets the benefit of attaining optimal health ability and that no person should be left out  from achieving full potential. According to the social justice approach, public health should improve any condition that may prevent people from attaining the whole good health standard adequate to maintain life. An example of this action was taken by World Health Organization (WHO) in the year 2008 that when it tried to gather evidence on actions that can be taken to bring health equity and foster global movement in achieving it.

The other solution to this critical issue is freeing up resources that are unnecessarily used so that they can be of benefit to others. According to research, some experts estimated as much as 30 percent of medical spending is unnecessary and that given significant variations in healthcare expenditure seen across geographical areas with little benefits in high expenditure areas (Lee, 2017). Growth in the number of hospitals has helped in stemming the rise of hospital costs, which have, in return, decreased the cost of medical expenditure despite an increase in admission and complexity of patient’s illness. So that efficiency can be achieved, health care should be delivered in a manner that maximizes the resources and avoids wastage. Efficiency in health care should result in having effectiveness where services ar5e provided on the basis of scientific knowledge and evidence-based guidelines

Ethical Issue Overview

Health care systems in the modern are world seek to focus on efficiency and quality health care as it is rooted in the principle of justice, and cost has become an inescapable part of modern practice. Hospitals and health care centers have accepted and embraced the responsible use of resources as a core principle in this profession. Activities that improve on quality can improve health care and must be done ethically. Improvement of quality is an intrinsic part of good health care; efforts to improve the quality of care have always existed in the context of social justice. In paper research done in Canada in the year, 2008 show that there was an acute shortage of physicians in the rural parts as compared to the urban areas. There was a high imbalance in terms of resource allocation in the country against the urban hence it was considerable concern in improving quality in the rural parts. Attention should be focused on providing good care, quality, and efficiency health systems in all parts of the country. There is a great need in every society and government to create building a sustainable healthcare workforce for the future, improving health care and allocating limited medication and donor organs (Jenning, 2015).

A medical shortage occurs because there is no enough economic incentive for hospitals. For example, most of the intravenous medications are generally tend to be the ones in scarce since there is no profit made from them and a continuous shortage of donor organs. A constant increase in health care cost has led to the need for curtailing expenditures, and guidelines can be used to reduce unnecessary expenses. These guidelines should be aimed at achieving an increased use of effective care. Policymakers should come with a measure of cost reduction and quality improvement. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), quality of care is the extent to which care is, and health services are provided to individuals and improved population so that it can achieve desired health outcomes (Kanamori, et al). Health care should be people-centered so that it can provide care with preference and aspiration of individual service users and the community at large. World Health Organization developed benchmarks for quality improvement on maternal and newborn health care facilities. These standards were critical in strengthening health systems.

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) is a new form of health care organization in which a network of health providers are given financial incentives to reduce total cost while maintaining high standards of quality for a defined patient group. This organization was developed to take care of patients with chronic illness, which accounts for 75% of all patients in the United States. Most health facilities and hospitals have come up with social purpose programs to have a positive impact on patients and coworkers. There has been an expansion of primary care and a range of services provided to outpatient (Morgan, Ensor, & Waters, 2016).

In the late 1980s in the United States, an increase in healthcare cost, brought the emergence of systems of management in the views on healthcare quality in both nursing and medicine. Despite the concentrated efforts for the past two decades, the issue of care and quality remains an impending issue. Lack of consistency and uniformity in the definition of this problem has made it difficult to solve this problem. Thematic analysis guided by the strategy of categorization can be of great use in solving this ethical issue. By providing precise theoretical definition of quality healthcare will provide a critical foundational component research driven by theory, and it is necessary development of knowledge and provision of quality care. An example is the joint commission of 2015 that utilized accountability measures that were identified as quality to determine the care process had improved health outcomes and its effectiveness. Good health ethics should emphasize having care, quality, and efficiency as key pillars as they result in the desired health outcome (Torchia, Calabrò, & Moaner, 2015).

 

 

Examine Alternative Action

Quality improvement in health discipline has evolved from an individual concern towards a collective and professional concern driven by systematic matters involving many stakeholders. Ethical commitment to improving the quality of care patients receive and commitments to accomplish require systematic approaches. A category of research under common care and quality should be appreciated. Balancing care, quality, and efficiency is equitable distribution of outcomes of health so that everyone gets the benefit of good health care. In addressing the issue of care, quality, and efficiency rule should be created to comprise activities designed in increasing enduring knowledge about the nature of people and their sorrounding. New models of individual health care should be developed and supervision of quality health activities as well as creating practical rules to ensure appropriate review of quality activities.

Standards should be developed for improving quality healthcare and efficiency so that there is improved health care experience hence freeing up resources that are unnecessary used so that they can be of benefit to others (Morgan, Ensor, & Waters, 2016). There should be effective communications on the resources required as well as community engagement.

Using the five approaches, i.e., the utilitarian approach, rights approach, fairness of justice approach, common good approach, and virtue approach, using resources efficiently and prudently is the best in ensuring quality health care and efficiency. Resources are used maximally while achieving the objective of social justice. The utilitarian approach that suggests the least harm should occur is also followed by using resources efficiently. As per rights approach, use of resources maximally to achieve quality health care it does not contravene this fundamental principle since resources are allocated in such a way that all individual do not merely receive treatment but gets quality healthcare by reallocating resources through distribution in order of urgency and priority.

Conclusion

In summary, the issue of utmost quality health care and efficiency is fundamental and critical, especially to the women and children. Quality of care for children and their mothers is the level of which maternal and health services increase the possibility of appropriate care to achieve desired results that are consistent with the preference of individual women and their families. Government and health institutions should take up the responsibility of ensuring quality health care is provided for all in a very efficient way.

 

References

Lee, L. M. (2017). A bridge back to the future: public health ethics, bioethics, and environmental

Ethics. The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(9), 5-12.

Vayena, E., Salathé, M., Madoff, L. C., & Brownstein, J. S. (2015). Ethical challenges of big

data in public health. PLoS computational biology, 11(2).

Jennings, B. (2015). Relational liberty revisited: membership, solidarity and a public health

ethics of place. Public Health Ethics, 8(1), 7-17.

Morgan, R., Ensor, T., & Waters, H. (2016). Performance of private sector health care:

implications for universal health coverage. The Lancet, 388(10044), 606-612.

Torchia, M., Calabrò, A., & Moaner, M. (2015). Public–private partnerships in the health care

sector: a systematic review of the literature. Public Management Review, 17(2), 236-261.

Kanamori, S., Sow, S., Castro, M. C., Matsuno, R., Tsuru, A., & Jimba, M. (2015).

Implementation of 5S management method for lean healthcare at a health center in Senegal: a qualitative study of staff perception. Global health action, 8(1), 27256.