The paper The Future Strategic Direction of Healthcare - Technology, Financing, Insurance, Medical Staff Qualifications" is a persuading example of a term paper on health sciences & medicine. The future strategic direction of health care is a critical aspect to consider with the trends in the industry, locally and internationally. A healthcare provider is a costly activity and it, therefore, requires effective planning and allocation of adequate resources. On the same note, its scope is wide and one that calls for professionalism for effective service delivery. Numerous challenges are realized in the healthcare sector in a bid to reform and promote health among the populations. A number of these challenges are highlighted below in detail prior to the organizational direction and strategies adopted.
Information technology advancements including the electronic medical, or health, record (EMR/EHR)
Technological advancements have been realized alongside globalization and modernization of societies. In that regard, technologies for medical and health purposes have come up to aid healthcare service delivery. However, the sector’s performance in the context of medical and health technologies have not been as it was initially expected (Afo, Thomason & Karel, 2006). It is true that technology has impacted positively on healthcare and related services, but it has as well-posed significant challenges.
Medical and healthcare technologies require professionalism, skills, and knowledge in use. Where these factors are lacking, there are difficulties in the actual practice application. Another source of the emergent challenge comes from reduced caregiver-patient interaction. Direct interaction of patients and healthcare providers is reduced and the overall welfare of patients may be hard to monitor. Issues of privacy and confidentiality have also been cited as substantial challenges due to the fact that users of such technologies do not fully trust technologies.
Economics, including third-party payers, future funding, rising costs, the Medicare and Medicaid programs
Healthcare systems and programs have by a greater extent revolutionized the healthcare sector and related fields. Massive resources have been pooled and efforts to efficiently allocate resources made. Numerous modes of financing healthcare have been adopted in a bid to fairly and equitably provide healthcare services to the entire population (Ebrahim & Anken, 2008). However, even with these efforts, there are numerous challenges posed by the very same efforts undertaken. One of the most substantial sources of the challenges in this context is the economic factor. Economic hardships and crisis have negatively affected healthcare services delivery.
Insurance incorporation has been introduced in healthcare financing by providing healthcare covers. However, not everybody can afford the premiums charged by insurance companies. Healthcare costs are on the rise, necessitating the need to address future healthcare funding if this scenario is to be reversed. Other programs like Medicare and Medicaid have not fully met their objectives. For an organization to address these challenges through direction and adoption of effective strategies, then all the influencing factors in the industry must be accounted for.
Access to health care including the uninsured and those in the poverty levels
Access to healthcare is a significant challenge in the pursuit of the future direction of healthcare (Ebrahim & Anken, 2008). Even today, a significant proportion of the population remains locked out of proper healthcare services. There are a number of reasons behind this observation but the most common is the fact that most are poor to the extent that they prioritize other aspects of life over their health. Any healthcare facility should seek to promote the basic context of healthcare affordability if its future endeavors in the direction of healthcare are to be realized.
Maintaining a skilled workforce
Healthcare professionals require intensive and critical training procedures before they are allowed to serve masses that seek healthcare services. Both curative and preventive measures constitute healthcare services (Afo, Thomason & Karel, 2006). Professionals in this field have a fundamental duty and responsibility to play, both for the individuals and the society at large. As much as they promote the population’s health, their social welfare has to be factored in. Maintaining a skilled workforce is an expensive undertaking. In this regard, highly qualified personnel in the health industry have at times quit their jobs in search of greener pastures. This jeopardizes the future of health care and related activities in the society. Therefore, direction and strategy adoption by a healthcare organization must clearly outline a workable plan of keeping a skilled workforce in the industry for the longest time possible.
Pay for Performance
High organizational performance is the goal of any given health facility. Creating incentives that trigger high organizational performance is bound to work out to the advantage of every stakeholder in the health sector. However, this principle is lacking in many healthcare facilities. Even the most effective and efficient organizations go unnoticed. Lack of reward schemes in hospitals or other healthcare facilities does not motivate these organizations to perform. Pay for performance is bound to impact positively on the future direction of healthcare. However, until effective schemes of doing so are introduced, pay for performance remains a significant stumbling block in the future strategic direction of health care.