Policy Evaluation and Communication Plan Essay
The constraints to successful treatment in areas with limited resources include, but are not limited to, patient financial barriers, lack of trained personnel and access to treatment or facilities. Generally, it is easier to treat diseases at early stages than later, and most resource-limited settings lack the equipment to detect conditions in the early stage. Students traveling in such areas must be prepared to face challenges. However, it is vital to come up with ways to address these issues.
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Issues of the Case and Importance
One problem, in this case, is the lack of specialized equipment for diagnostic testing. Due to lack of laboratory equipment to measure CD4 lymphocyte count and HIV viral load, Mr. Gaza is forced to rely on WHO Clinical Staging System for HIV/AIDS (Provenzano & Khoshnood, 2018). Technology facilitates a quick and safe way to test for a disease. Early detection can save lives. Lack of resources interferes with the patients care as well as the physician’s ability to deliver quality care. Besides equipment, the patient in the case is unable to access the necessary care for his condition (Provenzano & Khoshnood, 2018). Patients who live in poor conditions may be unable to afford healthcare or treatment specific to their illness; resulting in deterioration in health. Moreover, if patients cannot access the necessary care, then it is difficult for doctors to come up with treatment management plan.
Impact on Medical Decision Making
Lack of specialized equipment impacts on medical decision making by forcing health practitioners to rely on their clinical skills as such resulting in medical errors. Medical equipment is one of the leading factors influencing the quality of healthcare. Lack of technology interferes with the ability of health practitioners to manage an emergency promptly successfully (Mehl et al., 2014). Doctors possess little or no influence to affect changes in the social conditions in many underserved areas. Clinicians always face a dilemma when they encounter patients who are unable to locate the necessary care because they reside in low-resource settings. Moreover, some physicians may despair and become hopeless when they cannot deliver high-quality care because of lack of modern testing instrument and other resources.
Physicians in low-resource settings can become potent advocates. According to Arya (2013), physicians can combine advocacy with the medical work. Advocacy involves undertaking research on the problems and coming up with compelling statistics to demonstrate the severity of the issue. Physicians are advocates for health improvements and for their patients. Health advocacy plays a vital role in eliminating barriers and making such matters widely known to make treatment more efficient and accessible. Physicians can join institutions that promote health advocacy such as National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC) to pioneer for the community needs. Other organizations are Medecins Sans Frontieres and American Medical Student Association. In this case, Jaime, the medical student can undertake research and use data to convince policymakers of the necessity for medical equipment and access to health care. Similarly, physicians can communicate patient stories to the media as a way to explore the complexities of health care.
Besides advocacy, clinicians can participate in outreach efforts to reach out to underserved patients. Most outreach programs cater to vulnerable populations having high disease burden and are less likely to use preventive health services. Evans et al. (2015) contend that outreach programs play a crucial role in extending and enhancing the reach of care through activities such as facilitating access to services or case management. Outreach encompasses many activities including training individuals to provide health in the community, handing out items such as condoms, demonstrating healthy living procedures among others. These exercises improve the health outcomes of communities directly or indirectly. Therefore, clinicians can join community outreach programs to increase the knowledge of the target population about their health. For example, in the current case study, the patient has HIV/AIDS. Mr. Gaza can help by joining outreach programs to provide social support and informal counseling.
To overcome the problems in low-resource settings, clinicians can also talk to individual patients in the hospital. Physicians can provide vital information to patients on ways they can manage their conditions using the limited resources. Additionally, physicians can make it their goal to enlighten patients on the importance of accessing care. In such a situation, physicians should first familiarize themselves with the equipment available in the area to comprehensively prepare for the care of their patients. Physicians, according to Hoeft et al. (2018) must address not only the physical needs but also the individual and psychological needs of the patients. Encouraging patients to open up during clinical visits may help to solve all these requirements.
Physicians can utilize several media outlets to communicate the needs of the underserved community. Communicating patient stories through electronic media help to enlighten the world of the problems facing patients in low-resource settings. Other ways include publishing research articles in medical journals. Word to word communication through community outreach also helps to relay the message.
Policy Evaluation and Communication Plan Essay