Health Car Problem Select Essay

Pages: 8 (3075 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Healthcare

¶ … Health Car Problem

Select and describe briefly any area of concern or health care problem

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Over the last several years, the rising cost of prescription drugs have been continually brought to the forefront. Part of the reason for this is because of the sharp increases in prices every single year. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the increase in prescription drug prices in 2009. Where, wholesale costs increased by 9%, while the consumer prices index declined during the same time. (Wilson, 2009) For the elderly, this situation is even more troubling, as their age will require larger amounts of prescription drugs, to deal with a variety of ailments. This is problematic, when you consider the fact that this group of population accounts for a total of 31% of prescription drug sales every year. (Ham, 2007, pg. 94) As a result, this means that the elderly could face a number of adverse health effects, because they may not be able to afford the medication they need or they could engage in activities to preserve their medication (such as hording). In either case, the fact that these people are: not taking their required medication; could cause their conditions to become worse or it may result in death. To fully understand the overall scope of the problem and what possible solutions could be utilized requires: an in depth analysis of the underlying causes and how possible solutions could be identified. This will be accomplished by performing a literature review of relevant research on the topic and then creating a possible plan; that could help to mitigate the negative effects of the problem. Together, these two elements will provide the greatest insights, as to the overall scope of this problem and how the health care professional can have a positive impact.

Literature Review

To fully understand the overall scope of the problem and the solution requires, reviewing all relevant literature that will examine: the causes, effects and possible ways that the problem can be effectively resolved.

Essay on Health Car Problem Select and Describe Briefly Assignment

Day, T. (n.d.). About Medical Care for the Elderly. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from Long-Term Care Link website: http://www.longtermcarelink.net/eldercare_medical_care_issues.htm

In this article, the author discusses the effects of taking prescription drugs when it comes to the elderly, as they will take more medication than the rest of the population. Where, the average person over the age of 75 years old is: taking five prescription drugs and two generic drugs. Because of the impaired abilities of many elderly people, the chances increase that the dosages for their medication could be too high. This causes adverse side effects, as taking too much of one particular medication can complicate health problems. At which point, the author highlights how the medical community is aware of this situation, but they have trouble preventing it from occurring. As elderly patients are reluctant to report changes in their medical conditions, which would have an adverse effect on selecting the proper amounts of dosage. To prevent this situation, the author suggests that health care professionals have more conversations with family members; about the conditions / ailments that their elderly relatives are suffering from. At the same time, it is recommended that the family is encouraged to take part in an older relative's treatment. This will ensure that the family fully understands the various ailments of older relatives, helping to prevent overuse. What this shows, is that a trained nurse can have a dramatic impact upon the problem in their own health care environment, by being more observant and asking questions about elderly patients. Over the course of time, this could be useful in helping to improve the quality of care that is being provided in a health care environment. This is because the health care professional was more thorough in their diagnosis. At which point, the chances decreases that elderly patient could be taking the wrong dosage of their medication. (Day, n.d.)

Salzman, K. (2005). Drug Prescribing Adverse Reactions. Clinical Geriatric Psychopharmacology (pp. 52 -- 54) Philadelphia, PA: Lippencott. http://books.google.com/books?id=RXvpjJ1Un2gC&pg=PA52&dq=effects+of+high+prescriptions+drug+costs+on+the+elderly&hl=en&ei=9FYmTIL8KYL_8AaFqKzyDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=effects%20of%20high%20prescriptions%20drug%20costs%20on%20the%20elderly&f=false

In this piece of literature, the author discusses the underlying causes of why prescription drug costs are increasing. Where, they found that increases in prescription drug prices have accounted for 37% of the total health care costs each year. Next, the author discusses the total effect that these costs would have on the elderly. At which point, they looked at the different social economic groups of the population and their ability to afford prescription drugs. The results were: that those individuals with greater amounts of coverage and higher income levels, are more inclined to take prescription drugs that are prescribed by their doctors. Those who are from lower social / economic groups are more than likely not to purchase the prescription drugs that they need. Based on data collected from the Survey of Assets and Health, the author found that there is direct correlation between the social / economic class and compliance with the required regimen. Where, they found that underuse of various prescription drugs is four times higher, among those elderly patients with low incomes. In the study, they identified the standard of low income as: those individuals who are making less than $100 thousand per year. To make matters worse, the author finds that the majority of elderly Americans are spending at least 7% to 10% of their annual income on prescription drugs. This is significant, because it shows how a second issue among the elderly who are taking prescription drugs is: non-compliance. The reason why, is not because they do not want to take the required dosages of the medication, instead it is tied to economic factors. Where, those who are spending more of their annual income on prescription drugs will be less inclined to purchase them over generics. Then, because the costs are so high, many will often engage in reducing the dosage or rationing, as they are attempting to make the medication more affordable. Evidence of this can be seen with the dividing line, between those who can afford prescription drugs by: making an annual income of $100 thousand per year. When you place this number into context and consider the fact that someone's income declines when they become older. This means that the majority of those who are elderly are spending a significant portion of their income on prescription drugs. Over the course of time, this can make their conditions more severe, as not taking their medication or reducing the dosage will only making the situation worse. This information is important, because it can be used to corroborate why many elderly patients are not taking their prescriptions drugs. (Salzman, 2005, pp. 52 -- 54)

Pynchon, T. (2010). Prescription Drugs. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from Breathing.com website: http://www.breathing.com/articles/prescription-drugs.htm

In this article, the author discusses the negative side effects that prescription drugs will have on the population. Where, they found in a recent study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine that every 1 in 20 people are having adverse side effects to prescriptions drugs. With them estimating that this will lead to the deaths of 400 thousand people every year. In the case of the elderly, because they are taking more than five different prescription drugs, this means that their chances will increase of having a negative side effect from one of the drugs. What happens is each of the different drugs will create a change within the person on a cellular level. Where, one drug can have a profound impact upon someone's biological make up. In the case of the elderly, when you combine this with several different drugs at the same time, the chance increase that they can develop complications. This is because each of these different drugs is creating changes in someone on a cellular level. When you increase the overall amounts changes in the body, because of larger amounts of prescription drugs that are being taken, this means that the chance of elderly people seeing complications increases dramatically. This is significant, because it shows that health care professionals, can not continue to turn to prescription drugs as the end all solution for various medical conditions. Instead, they must think about what are the possible side effects of introducing this drug, as a part of a patient's regimen. For the health care professional this information can help to place the overall scope of the problem into perspective. Where, their actions can have a dramatic impact upon the overall quality of care that is being received. As a result, they must be able to maintain some kind of a balance between the number of prescription drugs being used and their effects. This will help to identify if the patient is receiving the right amount of dosage and reduce their exposure to possible side effects as much as possible. (Pynchon, 2010)

Kimbuende, E. (2010). Prescription Drug Costs. Retrieved June 26, 2010 from Kaiser Foundation website: http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?id=352&parentID=68&imID=1

In this article, the author discusses how prescription drug price usage increased by 72% during the 1990's… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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