Future Trends In Health Care

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Future Trends in Health Care

Future Trends in Health Care


America has a highly developed health care system, which is available to all people. Although it can be very complex and frustrating at times it has come a long way from the health care organizations of yesterday. (Krugman 2008) Previously most health care facilities were a place where the sick were housed and cared for until death. Physicians rarely practiced in hospitals and only those who were fortunate could afford proper care at home or in private clinics. Today the level of health care has excelled tremendously. Presently the goal of our health care is to have a continuum of care for the patient, one which is integrated on all levels. (Bond 1994)

Many hospitals offer a referral service or discharge plan to patients who are being discharged. Plans for the patient are discussed with a discharge planner. The discharge planner is a person who is trained in assessing what the patient's requirements for health care will be after discharge from the hospital. (Williams 1987) This enables the patient to continue their care at a level which is most appropriate for them. Items reviewed for discharge planning include but are not limited to therapies, medication needs, living arrangements and identification of specific goals. A few of the options that are available for persons being discharged from an acute care hospital can include home health care, assisted living facilities, long term care or hospice. (Phelps 2002)


According to Growing Old in America (1996), "Home health care is one of the fastest growing segments of the health care industry". (p. 114) Alternatives for home care can meet both the medical and non-medical needs of a patient. (Krugman 2008) These services are provided to patients and their families in their home or place of residence. Home care is a method of delivering nursing care and other therapies as required by the patient's needs. Numerous alternatives are available for persons seeking health care at home. It is often difficult for family members to understand why specific services are not covered especially when they appear to be necessary for the care of the patient. These costs can add up quite quickly and the impact of the cost can become quite distressing for family members and patients on a limited budget. In these cases a Social Worker is usually provided to help the patient and family explore other avenues which may enable them to cover their health care costs. (Krugman 2008)


In the "Internet Age," physicians and patients have unique technological resources available to improve the patient-physician relationship. How they both utilize online medical information will influence the course of their relationship and possibly influence health outcomes. The decision-making process may improve if efforts are made to share the burden of responsibility for knowledge. Further benefits may arise from physicians who assist patients in the information-gathering process.

To combat online misinformation, healthcare providers must positively influence patient selection of online materials. The presentation of awards on medical Web pages ...
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