Current National Healthcare Issues in the US
Nowadays, it is more evident than ever that the healthcare system has entered a new era of development. First, care providers have started to integrate efficient co-management systems to optimize the work of medical staff. Second, the United States has initiated a number of programs focusing specifically on health equity in the face of an increasing gap in care delivery to different socio-economic and racial groups. Third, the country is tasked with maintaining existing systems of care delivery, while combining them with the new advanced technologies. However, the issue, which seems to impact the organization I work for the most is the importance of staff satisfaction and employee engagement.
For years, the healthcare industry has centered entirely on the attainment of three main goals. They include the improvement of the general population’s health and well-being, enhancement of healthcare delivery standards, as well as reduction of the cost of medical assistance. This is known as a Triple Aim, which has been more or less adopted by the majority of American healthcare facilities (Jacobs et al., 2018). At its core, the Triple Aim is designed specifically to address the needs of patients. Healthcare organizations are essentially tasked with “being the high-quality, low-cost provider of health services delivered through intense collaboration with patients and families” (Jacobs et al., 2018, p. 231). However, the most recent developments in the field dictate that following these three objectives is no longer enough to solve the issues in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.
While each of the three aforementioned goals is exceptionally important to improve the quality of care patients receive, there are still some gaps. A crucial component, which seems to be missing from the Triple Aim equation is the focus on care providers themselves. Medical professionals are integral to achieving any of the objectives highlighted earlier, which means that their jobs have to be made easier. Staff engagement is imperative to lower the risks of professional burnout and poor care outcomes. Instead of relying solely on a top-down approach, medical institutions have to take a step back and involve staff in the changes (Park et al., 2018). After all, it is counter-productive to expect clinical professionals to deal with massive amounts of stress, adapt to new developments, as well as work at lower costs.
In terms of the impact of the issue on my organization, in particular, I have observed that the employee turnover rate has increased over the past 4 years at Premier Health. At Miami Valley Hospital, which is a large medical facility in Dayton, where I work as a nurse, 5 nurses resigned in 2021 alone. This is connected to the issue of adequate pay, which would correlate with the amount of work one has to do to meet new standards of practice and remain qualified in the use of newly implemented technologies. Thus, staff engagement is one of my place of work’s primary priorities.
As for the ways Premier Health has addressed the issue, it is important to mention a variety of aspects. First, the health system participated in the accountable care organization (ACO) initiated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Tucker, 2017). Randy Tucker (2017) notes that this allows Premier Health “to assume higher levels of financial risk and reward” than are currently possible (para. 5). Second, Premier Health ensures provider satisfaction and staff engagement through participation in the Next Generation ACO. Third, a partnership with Evolent Health helps Premier executives to take a progressive path of emphasizing employee benefits and expanding the health system’s capabilities in terms of staff involvement.
Jacobs, B., McGovern, J., Heinmiller, J., & Drenkard, K. (2018). Engaging employees in well-being. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 42(3), 231–245.
Park, B., Gold, S. B., Bazemore, A., & Liaw, W. (2018). How evolving United States payment models influence primary care and its impact on the Quadruple Aim. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 31(4), 588–604.
Tucker, R. (2017). Local health systems join national programs to improve primary care. Dayton Daly News, Web.