It’s been shown time and again that the healthcare system in the United States ranks much lower than other countries. This is incredibly sad considering that some of the best doctors and most advanced procedures and technology in the world are found in the United States. However, if people don’t have access to that healthcare or costs are too high, then the system is obviously not working. Despite government attempts to improve the system in the country, it still is lagging behind with way too many people not being able to afford the healthcare they need. There is good news, though. The problem is not being ignored. There are some things that can still be done to fix this broken system.
Improve Patient Education
One of the main problems people face when it comes to healthcare is the uncertainty. They simply have no clue what will happen if they need to have a procedure done or what to expect if they are hospitalized. Keeping patients in the dark is no way to provide good care. That is why improving patient education and providing them with more information can greatly increase the value of healthcare. Healthcare providers should be more upfront. They need to explain exactly what will happen and how it will impact the patient. Letting them know, for example, how long they will be off work, can be incredibly helpful.
Focus on Global Care
Too often patients fall through the cracks because they are going here and there for care. Underlying conditions or issues may not be discovered soon enough because there isn’t a global approach to care. Unless a person is seeing healthcare professionals within a small system, nobody will be able to notice the trends in their symptoms that could point to a bigger problem. Creating a more global system where patient information is accessible by any provider they see can greatly increase the level of care and prevent many problems.
One way to do this is through advancing healthcare IT, like the countries noted in this infographic. While the US currently is on the cutting edge of IT, the systems are not being used to their full capacity. Many of these new technologies aren’t accessible to most people. Taking the IT systems we have now and expanding them can help make for a more global healthcare environment.
Bring Down Prices
One of the biggest hurdles that the US healthcare system faces is affordability. Even with the Affordable Care Act, the cost of health insurance keeps going up. The only way to improve healthcare and ensure that everyone has access is to lower the costs. Obviously, this is something of a struggle. There have been numerous attempts to do just this. The solution is something that is still not clear. However, it is clear that costs must come down. The most advanced country in the world with the best options in healthcare should never have anyone die simply because they couldn’t afford healthcare.
Fixing the broken US healthcare system is something that won’t happen overnight. Despite the claims of those in power, this problem is very deep and will require a long time to iron out.