The health system in the United States is not coordinated and exhibits fragmentation in different areas. The communication channels among health care providers are not excellent leading to poor provision of services. The vision of United States health sector is to deliver health care services to every citizen of the United States. The affordable care act (ACA) has emphasized the role played by nurses in ensuring that the anticipated changes in the health sector are realized. The various fragmentations in the health sector necessitate various changes in the health sector. Nurses are the people who stay closer to the patients than anybody else and this combined with their knowledge and understanding of health care processes makes them vital in initiating the desired changes. IOM is concerned to see that health care in United States improves and as a result, it has been making various recommendations.
Response to IOM Recommendations
According to IOM, it is true that nursing covers a wide spectrum and nurses are in direct contact with the patients. They provide most of the services patients require and are at the forefront in ensuring that patients get proper care. However, the number of nurses in United States is not enough to cater for the ever increasing number of patients and this poses a challenge in health care provision. Apart from the inadequate number of nurses, the quality of services provided to patients depends on the knowledge nurses have in provision of health care services. Since nurses spend a reasonable duration of time with the patients, they should be knowledgeable in health care provision for them to provide quality services to patients (Turner, n.d).
Many changes have taken place in the health care sector and provision of services in the 21st century is different from the way they services were provided in the past. As we have noted, nurses play an important role in ensuring access and provision of quality health care services. Transformation is essential in health sector since traditional regulations, policies and habits may hinter successful provision of health care services. In order to realize the dream of providing good health care to all Americans, the educational qualifications of the nurses should be utilized maximally (Turner, n.d). Since there are many trained and qualified nurses who possess the competencies required to work in the health care sector, there should be clear policies of employing the nurses and making use of their services. It is also important to ensure that the advancements in technology do not separate nurses from the patients especially in acute care systems.
Moreover, there is the need to make nurses full partners in health care sector. Nurses have the experience and expertise required in areas of administration, health policy and education. When they perceive themselves as capable of shaping policies rather than being mere recipients, this can assist in transforming the health sector. IOM makes an important proposition that nurses should get the required education to increase their competence in providing health care services.
It is vital to improve the education systems in order to ensure that the current and future generations are competent enough to provide quality health care services. Training in nursing courses should provide nurses with tools needed to evaluate and improve patient care while maintaining the fundamental training of nursing. Nurses do not work in a vacuum but rather in conjunction with other professionals in the field (nap, 2010). Plans of effecting major changes in the health sector can only be successful when there is full understanding of the important role played by all these professionals. This is only possible when sufficient and reliable data is collected to aid in decision making.
If I were to make policy changes in a bid to improve health care provision, I will make changes in the regulations that act as barriers towards effective health care provision. Many health professionals have extensive knowledge in various medical fields but the restrictions that have been put in place do not give them a chance to utilize skills gained from their training. It is important to give all health professionals a chance to apply the knowledge they acquire through training for patients to benefit from their services. This is an important policy area that I will strife to change in order to lift the barriers (nap, 2010).
The recommendations that IOM has put with regard to practice change are important steps towards transforming health care sector. It is true that for the sector to achieve full transformation, several strategies must be put in place. For instance, it is agreeable that there is the need to improve education facilities to ensure that nurses are well trained to provide health care facilities. Once nurses acquire proper training, they should be employed and given a chance to exercise their acquired skills in health care provision.
The recommendation that nurses should be full partners with other health professionals and physicians is also an important step towards ensuring that nurses realize their full potential. This is because nurses have the capacity to perform extremely well in policy making, administration and other health care related fields. IOM also recommends that there should be efficient data collection to be used as the basis for decision making. Nurses and other health professionals play an important role but for the contributions they make in health sector to be well understood, there should be a wealth of information on the contribution they make (nap, 2010).
To address the challenges of fragmentation in the U.S health sector, I will ensure that nurses realize their full potential because they play an important role in transforming the health sector. I will ensure that I change the policies that restrict nurses from offering services in areas they have received proper training.
For a long period of time, health care provision in the United States has been fragmented due to lack of coordination. There is the need to provide access to health care facilities to all citizens of the United States but this can only be possible if the health sector undergoes transformation. Nurses should be given a chance to realize their full potential by giving them opportunities to offer services in their areas of specialization. Traditional policies and habits should be eliminated because they have no place in modern health sector.
Nap. (2010). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing health. Web.
Turner, G. (n.d). Overview of US Health sector. Web.