The assessment of historical, political, economic and socio cultural influences on health is a vital part of healthcare. Social influences include the changes in demographic patterns around the world. For example, due to increased migration, nurses provide care in a multicultural with patients having differing experiences on health and healthcare (Gottlieb et al., 2017). Also, technology is another social change affecting health. Political influences include laws and policies by governments that govern issues as patient safety, confidentiality and the use of information technology such as Electronic Health Records (Staebler et al., 2017). Economic influences include the increasing in competition among healthcare organizations due to globalization and rise of multinational healthcare organizations. Due to these, healthcare organizations find themselves competing for market power, healthcare professional, products and services and for customers among others.
The measures for the assessment of the quality of care includes three aspects including structure, process and outcome. The purpose of these three aspects is to help the consumer of healthcare to assess and compare the quality of care offered by organizations. Each of these measures help assess and compare a certain aspect of the organization. Structural measure help assess the provider’s systems, capacity and processes of care to provide high quality services. The process measures shows whether a provider has a system for maintenance and improvement of the health of people with a certain disease or general population (Whitehead et al., 2016). The outcome aspect provide information on the effect of healthcare services and interventions provided by a provider.
Technology has been a vital ingredient in healthcare delivery that improve patient outcomes and the healthcare delivery system in general in a variety of ways. First, through electronic health record keeping, healthcare systems are able to organize and manage patient information in a way that facilitate ease access and reduce medical errors (Okpala, 2018). Secondly, through technology, healthcare systems are able to acquire improved healthcare equipment for diagnosis and treatment of patients. Moreover, technology increases access to information that is vital both for healthcare organizations and patients in treatment and management of health (Okpala, 2018). As a result of technology, there is an improvement in patient care with reduces negative outcomes and improved recuperation rates.
The improvement of the care and safety in a healthcare system requires the combined efforts of all professionals working therein. Proper communication is the first step where all healthcare professionals need to have one goal and purpose driven towards the improvement of the system. Secondly, there is a need to leverage the use of technology is such areas as record keeping, diagnosis and treatment. Technology increases the quality of care and reduces medical errors in care of patients (Whitehead et al., 2016). It hence allows for the improvement of quality of care and patient outcomes.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is an agency of the Department of Health whose responsibility is to enhance the quality, appropriateness and effectiveness of healthcare services. AHRQ contributes to the improvement in the quality of healthcare by supporting and conducting research, demonstration of projects, creating guidelines and the dissemination of information on healthcare delivery.
The AHRQ has provided guidelines that help reduce the use of drugs in the healthcare industry and instead incorporate other measures of care. With the concern over the excessive use of drugs in the country, the AHRQ provided guidelines for the reduction in the use of such drugs which helped reduce drug abuse.
The AHRQ call for a reduction in the use of drugs in organizations has resulted in an increase in the use of alternative methods of treatment. For example, where I work, there has been an increase in the use of massage therapy for chronic back pain management with opioids being limited.