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Free «The U.S. Health Care System» Essay Sample


Health care services are used for various reasons: to delay or prevent future health care problems, to obtain information about the health status and prognosis, to break and mend tears, to cure diseases, to improve health condition and reduce pains in order to increase the quality of life. The utilization of health care may be of high or low quality expensive or cheap and appropriate or inappropriate. Today, the health care system has undergone various changes such as the introduction of new advanced technologies that includes medical devices, drugs, tests, imaging machinery and procedures. The current health care services system traces its roots to the values that are espoused by people. The beliefs and value system governs the general orientation of the health care providers, training, financing and resource allocation and type of health delivery settings. The purpose of this paper is to give a precise definition of health care system, explore the implications of beliefs and values on a health care system, provide examples of models of health care delivery used in America and explain how the health care system applies to models of the health care delivery in the United States.



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What is health care system?

Health care system is a combination of all the activities that have a primary purpose of maintaining, restoring and promoting health. The system has five major components that include the workforce that provides the health care services, the facilities where the health care is provided, the educational and research institutions that train the staff and give the knowledge that leads to healthcare service improvement, pharmaceuticals and medical equipments and the health care therapeutic providers. In an ideal health care system setting, these entire components interacts and functions to provide good health care services to people (Jonas, S, Goldsteen, R & Goldsteen, K., 2007).

Implications of beliefs and values on a health care system

In the United States of America, cultural beliefs and values are among the factors that have big influence on the key determinants of health services. These values orient people towards defining and determining what is desirable to them. It can be said that America has a relatively well integrated system of common values at the societal level and it there are many different subcultures in the country due to continuous influx of immigrants from other parts of the world. Therefore, they are various variations in the ways that different people view their health and how the differences influences their behaviors and attitudes concerning, diseases, health and death. The societal beliefs and values influence how health care is delivered in the United States of America. For instance, the important decisions concerning who receives certain types of health services can be based on culture. For example, there are variations in the way people prioritize who receives the scarce medical resources whereby boys are valued relative to girls by some cultures. Some of the main values and beliefs in American culture include (Shi, J & Singol, A. D., 2008),

i. The general distrust of the government and principles of free enterprises have led to the keeping of the health care delivery largely on private hands. Therefore, there is an observable separation between the private practice of medicine and public health functions.

ii. Strong beliefs in the application of scientific methods of medicine and the general technological advancement are instrumental in the creation of the medical models that governs the health care system in America. In turn, the models have influenced a rapid growth in technological innovation and medical science making the country lead in the world in new medical breakthrough.

iii. Self determination and entrepreneurial spirit are promoted the American culture of capitalism whereby the individual abilities to access the health care services are determined by health care production and consumption. This implies that the access to health care has been made a social privilege through individual health insurance financing and existence of a distinction of the health services for the rich and the poor communities and those in urban and rural areas.

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iv. A concern for the disabled, the poor, the children and elderly has led to creation of various public programs that takes care of them.

Models of health care delivery used in America

The following are some of the health care delivery models that are used in the United States of America (Joint, J., 2008).

i. The transitional care model which gives evidence based in-hospital planning and home follow-up of the elderly people suffering from chronic illnesses. At the hospital, these elderly patients are an assigned transitional care nurse who assess the patient needs, coordinates discharge plans, assists the patients with their care needs management and facilitates transition and communication to community services and providers.

ii. Model RN Line at Virginia Mason Medical Center. This is a nursing model that provides care in the inpatient setting. It resulted from the Virginia Production System and it is dedicated to coming up with the health care systems that completely eliminates defects, waste and errors.

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iii. Nurse Caring Delivery Model. This is found at the Metro West Medical Centre and it is a team-oriented nursing model that provides care in outpatient and inpatient settings. This model aims at providing coordinated and humanistic care that based on the theory of Jean Watson on human caring.

iv. Hospital at Home. This provides a hospital level care at homes as a traditional acute hospital admission substitute. This model is a program by which the eligible elderly patients are taken home by a team that provides good care services.

v. Nursing Model for Anticoagulation Management Service. This model is found at Massachusetts General Hospital. It is a patient based program that gives long-term outpatient anticoagulation care to many patients in America. The nurses initiates and monitors anticoagulation at hospital discharge, assists in getting the patients to therapeutic range and subjecting the patients to long term maintenance program.

vi. Chronic Care Coordination model. This is based at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. It is a nurse based model that involves a consultation from the Licensed Social Workers for giving educational and clinical support to complex patients. For instance, the nurses assists the complex patient and the patients that are transitioning between different care settings to understand their care plans and access the health services that they need.

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How the health care system applies to models of the health care delivery in the United States

In the United States of America, there is an enormous challenge in preparing to meet all the demands of different patients in the society especially the aged and complex patients. Therefore, the health care delivery or these people is one of the critical health policy challenges. The various models of the health care delivery in the United States are ideal in dealing with the challenges of health care delivery. As many of the Americans join the various health plans that involve the designation of primary health care providers, the respective health care delivery models might be very appropriate in the United States of America. Through the models, health behaviors will be promoted and the access to quality health care will be provided (Maurer, A. F & Smith, M. C., 2005).


In conclusion, the differences in values and beliefs on the American health care system should be regarded as one of the appropriate resource that the health care systems should utilize in a process of determining how to effectively respond to illnesses and various health needs. In addition, the health care delivery system should be redesigned to make new ways of experiencing and providing health care services in America. This may especially involve the establishment of new health care delivery models in order to meet the health needs of all groups and classes of patients in the country.


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