Description of Policy Health Issue
Adding other files to my orders section. The benchmark assesses the following competencies: 1.4 Participate in health care policy development to influence nursing practice and health care. Research public health issues on the \”Climate Change\” or \”Topics and Issues\” pages of the American Public Health Association (APHA) website. Investigate a public health issue related to an environmental issue within the U.S. health care delivery system and examine its effect on a specific population. Write a 750-1,000-word policy brief that summarizes the issue, explains the effect on the population, and proposes a solution to the issue. Follow this outline when writing the policy brief: Describe the policy health issue. Include the following information: (a) what population is affected, (b) at what level does it occur (local, state, or national), and (c) evidence about the issues supported by resources. Create a problem statement. Provide suggestions for addressing the health issue caused by the current policy. Describe what steps are required to initiate policy change. Include necessary stakeholders (government officials, administrator) and budget or funding considerations, if applicable. Discuss the impact on the health care delivery system. Include three peer-reviewed sources and two other sources to support the policy brief. 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. Description of Policy Health Issue
The policy health issue of concern is the introduction of new connected health and digital therapeutics services. The new health care services are intended to support patients in making behavioral changes, offer medical personnel real time therapeutics and medical insurers better communication tools to more effectively manage the health of their beneficiaries. Connected health and digital therapeutics services are an emerging health discipline that make use of innovative technologies to replace or augment active drug therapies in treating diseases. These services are reshaping the health care landscape for regulatory oversight, reimbursement and new medicine for the American health care industry (Lakovleva, Oftedal & Bessant, 2019). However, the value of these services can only be maximized if new payment models and data sharing processes are presented to integrate the services into the broader arsenal of the already available treatments and regulatory structure for approving medical devices and therapies. In addition, there is a need to focus on outcomes and endpoints, present new workflow processes that incorporate the new data streams, and match them to financial models (Chanchaichujit et al., 2019).
Technological advances have allowed connected health devices and digital therapeutics to transition from concept to reality. In fact, billions of dollars have been invested in developing them for use in the health care industry. Besides that, they have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals and been clinically validated for targeting specific health outcomes. For instance, Pear Therapeutics’ Reset mobile application developed in Boston was approved for treating substance abuse, and Natural Cycles developed in Stockholm, Sweden, was approved as a birth control application. In addition, others have been developed for treating disorders of the central nervous system, diabetes and other conditions, and are in the process of receiving FDA approval (NelsonHardiman, 2019). Description of Policy Health Issue
However, there are three concerns that would limit the value of connected health devices and digital therapeutics and make it difficult to successfully leverage their use in health care. The first concern is integrating these products into the regulatory structure for FDA approvals and broader treatment arsenal. There are established structures and protocols that that do not allow for the controlled and safe use of these products thus presenting a potentially unsafe environment. These concern is heightened by the fact that some of these products have received the FDA’s clinical validation so that they can be used. Additionally, billions of dollars have been invested in these technology with investors expecting financial returns so that it would not be unusual for technology to be hurriedly presented to the market without eliminating the opportunities for errors and maximizing efficacy. Although these technologies can be used, there are no structures to standardize their use thereby presenting a possibility of negative care outcomes (Tan, 2020). Description of Policy Health Issue
The second concern is the focus on end-points while ignoring outcomes. Some of these products have minimized the involvement of medical personnel and even eliminated their presence. This results in positive end-points that cannot be sustained as medical personnel are not involved in the care delivery to personalize approaches. The third concern is the impact of these products on medical practices. Medical facilities and practices already have established data streams targeted at improving care delivery while conforming to the information management regulations. Yet, these products present new data streams that are likely to disrupt medical practices with the need for new work structures and introduction of new responsibilities to make sense of the new data. The fourth concern is cost implications and whether they justify use in the health care industry. As new technologies, these products are costly since the developers seek to recoup their investments in development. This makes it difficult to determine whether the expected outcomes justify the product costs and subscription prices as their results have not been matched with financial models (Chanchaichujit et al., 2019).
Suggestions for addressing the policy health issue
There are four suggestions for addressing the presented problem. The first suggestion is to establish new payment models and data sharing process that will allow the connected health devices and digital therapeutics to be integrated into the regulatory structure for FDA approvals and broader treatment arsenal. This would standardize the technology thereby eliminating the possibility of errors and negative care outcomes. Also, this would support policing efforts so that the concerned parties are held accountable for all eventualities (Tan, 2020). The second suggestion is to venture more deeply into care delivery with a focus on both the outcomes and end-points. This would entail ensuring that the using real-world data and ensuring that the connection between patients and medical personnel is enhanced. The third suggestion is to present new workflow processes that incorporate the new data streams coming from these products. Additionally, the new products should be integrated into the electronic health records (EHR) systems to leverage and maximize their value. Successfully integrating these products into EHR systems and workflow processes is expected to inform real-world patient behaviors, improve the efficiency of health discussions, and improve interactions between patients and medical personnel. The fourth suggestion is to explore partnerships that focus on demonstrating the results of these products. It is not enough that these products present positive health care outcomes, there is a need to match them with financial models in order to better understand their effectiveness. This would also help in making health care spending more efficient and predictable (Chanchaichujit et al., 2019). Description of Policy Health Issue
Impact on health care delivery system
The four policy suggestions are targeted at ensuring that the value of connected health devices and digital therapeutics. This would reduce changes in workflow processes as information management systems are integrated. In addition, they would improve care delivery efficiency and effectiveness as the products would be linked to care outcomes and end-points. Besides that, they present predictive models that offer opportunities for partnerships that would be leveraged to ensure financial feasibility and ensure that performance is set within set parameters (Tan, 2020).
Black, B. (2020). Professional Nursing: Concepts & Challenges (9th ed.). Elsevier.
Chanchaichujit, J., Tan, A., Meng, F., & Eaimkhong, S. (2019). Healthcare 4.0: Next Generation Processes with the Latest Technologies. Palgrave Pivot/Springer Nature.
Lakovleva, T., Oftedal, E., & Bessant, J. (Eds.) (2019). Responsible Innovation in Digital Health: Empowering the Patient. Edward Elgar Publishing.
NelsonHardiman (2019, March 19). New Report Sees Digital Therapeutics as “Reshaping the Landscape” of Certain Aspects of Healthcare. https://www.nelsonhardiman.com/hc-law-news/new-report-sees-digital-therapeutics-as-reshaping-the-landscape-of-certain-aspects-of-healthcare/
Tan, J. (2020). Adaptive Health Management Information Systems: Concepts, Cases, and Practical Applications (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. Description of Policy Health Issue