Examine changes introduced to reform or restructure the U.S. health care delivery system. In a 1,000-1,250 word paper, discuss action taken for reform and restructuring and the role of the nurse within this changing environment.
Include the following:
- Outline a current or emerging health care law or federal regulation introduced to reform or restructure some aspect of the health care delivery system. Describe the effect of this on nursing practice and the nurse’s role and responsibility.
- Discuss how quality measures and pay for performance affect patient outcomes. Explain how these affect nursing practice and describe the expectations and responsibilities of the nursing role in these situations.
- Discuss professional nursing leadership and management roles that have arisen and how they are important in responding to emerging trends and in the promotion of patient safety and quality care in diverse health care settings.
- Research emerging trends. Predict two ways in which the practice of nursing and nursing roles will grow or transform within the next five years to respond to upcoming trends or predicted issues in health care.
You are required to cite to a minimum of three sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and relevant to nursing practice.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
Expert Solution Preview
The U.S. health care delivery system has undergone significant changes in an effort to reform and restructure its approach to healthcare. These changes have not only impacted the healthcare system as a whole but have also brought forth various implications and responsibilities for nurses within this evolving environment. This paper will discuss a current or emerging health care law or federal regulation that has been introduced to reform or restructure some aspect of the health care delivery system and its effect on nursing practice and the nurse’s role and responsibility. Additionally, the paper will explore how quality measures and pay for performance impact patient outcomes, nursing practice, and the expectations and responsibilities of the nursing role in these situations. Furthermore, it will delve into the emergence of professional nursing leadership and management roles and their importance in responding to emerging trends, promoting patient safety, and ensuring quality care in diverse healthcare settings. Lastly, this paper will predict how the practice of nursing and nursing roles will grow or transform within the next five years to respond to upcoming trends or predicted issues in healthcare.
1. Current or Emerging Health Care Law or Federal Regulation:
One current health care law introduced to reform the U.S. health care delivery system is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The ACA aimed to improve access to healthcare and reduce the cost burden on individuals and families. This law had significant implications for nursing practice and the nurse’s role and responsibility. With the ACA’s emphasis on expanding coverage, nurses have been at the forefront of primary care delivery, playing a crucial role in providing preventive care and health education to underserved populations. The law also led to the expansion of Medicaid, increasing the demand for nurse practitioners and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in providing primary care services to low-income populations.
Nurses have gained additional responsibilities due to the ACA, including care coordination and population health management. With the increased focus on population health, nurses have been actively involved in conducting community health assessments, implementing health promotion strategies, and coordinating care across various healthcare settings. They have assumed leadership roles in healthcare teams, collaborating with other professionals to ensure the delivery of timely and comprehensive care. Furthermore, the ACA has highlighted the importance of evidence-based practice, prompting nurses to engage in research and integrate the latest evidence into their daily practice to improve patient outcomes.
2. Quality Measures and Pay for Performance:
Quality measures and pay for performance initiatives have become integral components of the U.S. health care delivery system, with a strong impact on patient outcomes and nursing practice. These initiatives aim to incentivize healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care by linking financial reimbursements to predefined quality metrics.
Quality measures focus on assessing the effectiveness of healthcare interventions and the outcomes achieved. Nurses play a crucial role in contributing to these measures through their direct care provision, documentation, and adherence to evidence-based guidelines. By consistently providing safe and effective care, nurses contribute to positive patient outcomes, such as decreased hospital-acquired infections, reduced readmission rates, and improved patient satisfaction. Nurses are responsible for ensuring accurate documentation of care interventions, which serve as an important source of data for quality measurement and evaluation.
Pay for performance initiatives tie financial incentives to achieving predefined quality targets or improvement in patient outcomes. This approach motivates nurses to prioritize quality improvement efforts and engage in continuous professional development to enhance their skills and knowledge. Nurses are expected to stay updated with the latest best practices in their specialty areas and actively participate in quality improvement projects. Their role encompasses identifying gaps in care delivery, implementing evidence-based interventions, and monitoring patient outcomes to ensure continuous improvement in healthcare delivery.
3. Professional Nursing Leadership and Management Roles:
In response to emerging trends in healthcare, professional nursing leadership and management roles have gained prominence. These roles are instrumental in promoting patient safety and ensuring quality care in diverse healthcare settings. Nursing leadership roles, such as nurse managers and nursing directors, are responsible for overseeing daily operations, fostering a positive work environment, and managing resources effectively. They play a crucial role in setting expectations for nursing practice, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, and promoting a culture of patient safety.
Nursing management roles have evolved with the increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and care coordination. Nurse leaders often work closely with other healthcare professionals to develop and implement policies and protocols that enhance patient outcomes. They facilitate effective communication between different healthcare teams and advocate for resources and support necessary for ensuring safe and efficient care delivery.
Another emerging nursing role is that of a clinical nurse leader (CNL), who serves as an advanced generalist in the healthcare team. CNLs are responsible for overseeing and coordinating care for a group of patients, advocating for evidence-based practice, and evaluating patient outcomes. Their role focuses on ensuring the delivery of high-quality care through clinical leadership and utilization of quality improvement methodologies.
4. Predicted Growth or Transformation of Nursing Roles:
Looking ahead, the practice of nursing and nursing roles are expected to undergo further growth and transformation to address upcoming trends and predicted issues in healthcare. Two predictions for the next five years include:
a. Expansion of Telehealth: The integration of technology in healthcare is likely to expand further, and telehealth services will become more prevalent. Nurses will play a vital role in providing remote patient care, conducting virtual assessments, and delivering education and support to patients and their families. This transformation will require nurses to develop new competencies in telehealth technologies, remote monitoring, and virtual care coordination.
b. Increased Focus on Population Health Management: With the growing recognition of the importance of population health management, nursing roles will increasingly involve taking responsibility for the health of specific populations. Nurses will collaborate with community organizations, social services, and public health agencies to address the social determinants of health, implement preventive strategies, and advocate for policies that promote health equity. This shift will require nurses to possess advanced skills in community health nursing, informatics, and population-based care.
The ongoing reform and restructuring of the U.S. health care delivery system have brought about significant changes within nursing practice and the role and responsibilities of nurses. The implementation of health care laws like the ACA, the introduction of quality measures and pay for performance initiatives, the emergence of professional nursing leadership and management roles, and the predicted growth and transformation of nursing roles in the future all contribute to shaping the nursing profession in response to emerging trends. As agents of change, nurses will continue to adapt to the evolving healthcare landscape, ensuring quality care, patient safety, and improved health outcomes for diverse populations.
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