Applying Library Research Skills in Healthcare

Limited Access to Healthcare is a significant barrier that currently affects the Geriatric population for different reasons. As a Geriatrics home care nurse in Long Island, NY, I come across a handful of individuals who do not have transportation due to several factors. For instance, the issues include the inability to drive due to health conditions, limited public transportation, unable to transport the patient safely due to comorbidities. Significantly, Access A Ride, a transportation service provided by insurance, is not always granted in some cases.

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Therefore, limited access to healthcare is a very challenging problem for both the patient and the physician. Amoah et al. (2018) state that sufficient access to healthcare is critical for rehabilitating and curing urgent health symptoms. For instance, I recently evaluated a patient who had a diagnosis of MS. The patient lived alone and had no immediate relative that lived close enough to help with getting her to and from appointments. In addition, the patient developed a wound. Thus, she was prescribed a wound-vac with a dressing change once a week at the office. The patient was concerned because she could not drive and expressed that getting to the office costs her a lot of money. I was able to help the patient by contacting her insurance company. As a result, the company provided her with transportation to and from the appointment at no cost to her. Furthermore, the patient was also offered Home Care Services for her wound care treatments. Thus, the issue was resolved, and the patient received the care she needed at no cost to her. Moreover, I have developed an interest in researching reliable data about the limited access to healthcare.

Summons is a search engine that conducts searches across the Capella University Library’s database. I searched for necessary articles using keywords such as “access to health care” and “transportation for the elderly”. There were plenty of articles to choose from; therefore, I limited my search to relevant peer-reviewed articles by using the advanced search option. I set the filters, choosing “journal article” as the content type, “medicine” and “nursing” as the discipline, and “last five years” as the publication date.

To assess the credibility and ensure the relevance of the information sources, I chose peer-reviewed journal articles published within the past five years. In addition, I have read the abstracts of the suitable papers to ensure that the information was relevant to the limited access to healthcare. I also confirmed whether each peer-evaluated article clearly defined research objectives and included crucial information on the studied issue.

Within this article, communities and individuals are observed in rural settings where healthcare is inaccessible or within a not optimal distance. The authors affirm that people can rely on social networks to increase their chances of receiving better health care within specific environments. The fundamental reasons for limited access are an inadequate number of health facilities and financial obstacles. This paper was chosen due to its analysis of inaccessible health care problems. The scholars offered a solution, namely social networking, which helps to establish accessible medical services. Additionally, urban and rural residents were likely to engage within such networks at different periods. Factors such as physical proximity, privacy, sense of fairness and trust, socio-cultural barriers regarding health problems, and other resources, such as finances, influenced the activation of these networks. Thus, the paper investigates how rural and urban citizens activate social networks to advance their access to healthcare and explains that social networks assist in accessing healthcare.

The following paper begins with establishing an often overlooked but crucial authority for healthcare in rural areas, independent community pharmacies. As some of the few facilities that can provide medical knowledge and limited care within underserved regions, pharmacies can promote public and individual health when communities are unable to access chain pharmacies and clinics. Examples of this ability can be seen in recent events in states such as West Virginia, which utilized independent pharmacies to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to allow access for individuals within rural areas. The study observes how already existing infrastructure within underserved areas is used or can be made more efficient in promoting and providing health care. The research observed ways in which independent pharmacies can address other health needs, such as pregnancy prevention. The study found that similar elements of timely counseling, provision of medicine, and non-judgment from the vaccination process could be reflected in the contraceptive provision and other health issues. This article was selected due to its assessment of how existing infrastructure and services can be improved to directly enhance health care accessibility.

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The article observes how many global stakeholders cannot provide resources or health care due to several barriers, a primary one being the difficulties posed by rural settings. The study found some factors that influence the inability to provide care to certain regions, such as lacking understanding of specific needs, limited facilities and personnel, medicine shortages, distrust between patients and care providers, working hours of facilities, and financial constraints. The combination of some or all of the factors directly affects the quality and accessibility of care within underserved rural regions. As such, the study proposes a strategy that will address deficits within infrastructure and human resources. Additional actions will have to be implemented alongside the reform to ensure adequate medicine stocks and equitable distributions of both services and resources. The following study is essential as it observes the issue of health care inaccessibility from the perspective of providers and stakeholders, allowing us to analyze the core issues and their potential solutions.

Telehealth programs have an ongoing history of addressing issues for healthcare accessibility by health within rural settings. The study observes how telehealth strategies were able to facilitate the COVID-19 pandemic and health complications within rural areas. Due to the social distancing of the pandemic restrictions, telehealth was especially prevalent in their implementation. As such, the research investigates the benefits seen not only through access to care and information through telehealth programs but also through other virtual connections. The study notes that those without broadband continued to be affected by the health disparities in rural settings. The study provided policy changes and increased telehealth initiatives to combat cases where individuals continue to face inaccessibility. The article was selected as it examines the technology that has existed continuously, telehealth, and its relationship with newer communication methods to combat disparities posed by rural settings.

The following paper focuses on the specific issues regarding transportation for access to health care that is prominent in the lives of older adults in rural areas. The significant barriers that currently affect these populations include the lack of mass transit and the inherent distances between the rural living spaces and any health-related services or facilities. The study shows how non-emergency medical transportation affects older adults’ associated costs in rural and urban areas. The study results found that older age and personal accompaniment were more frequent in rural areas, while wheelchair use was rarer. Additionally, the mean cost of each trip for patients within rural settings was substantially higher than for those in urban environments. Issues such as dialysis were identified, which requires further investigations into prevention methods. This paper was selected as it investigates a specific barrier faced by communities in rural settings regarding health care access, the costliness, and lack of transportation.

Essentially, peer-evaluated articles’ search in the Capella library database helped me to collect valuable information and reliable facts about an issue of concern to me, namely, limited access to healthcare. Knowing how to search the articles will assist me within my Capella journey and in finishing my BSN. Therefore, the research helped to expand my knowledge in the field. For instance, after reading the article about social networks and health by Amoah et al. (2018), I realized that limited access is especially crucial in rural regions and social networks improve access to healthcare. Consequently, by creating an annotated bibliography, I formulated a repository of scholarly resources relating to the issue of limited healthcare. In addition, the annotated bibliography’s goal is to provide the researcher with a summary and assessment of each source; thus, it facilitates selecting relevant resources.

References

Amoah, P. A., Edusei, J., & Amuzu, D. (2018). Social Networks and Health: Understanding the Nuances of Healthcare Access between Urban and Rural Populations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(973), 1-15. Web.

Ashcraft, A. M., Ponte, C. D., Farjo, S., Dotson, S., & Murray, P. J. (2021). The [underutilized] power of independent pharmacies to promote public health in rural communities: A call to action. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Web.

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Chinyakata, R., Roman, N. V., & Msiza, F. B. (2021). Stakeholders’ Perspectives on the Barriers to Accessing Health Care Services in Rural Settings: A Human Capabilities Approach. The Open Public Health Journal, 14, 336-344. Web.

Hirko, K. A., Kerver, J. M., Ford, S., Szafranski, C., Beckett, J., Kitchen, C., & Wendling, A. L. (2020). Telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for rural health disparities. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(11), 1816–1818. Web.

Smith, M. L., Prohaska, T. R., MacLeod, K. E., Ory, M. G., Eisenstein, A. R., Ragland, D. R., Irmiter, C. I., Towne, S. D., & Satariano, W. A. (2017). Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Needs of Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Rural-Urban Comparison in Delaware, USA. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(174), 1-13. Web.

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