Explain how health care reform has helped shift the focus from a disease-oriented health care system to one of wellness and prevention.


Topic: Explain how health care reform has helped shift the focus from a disease-oriented health care system to one of wellness and prevention. Discuss ways in which health care will continue this trend and explain the role of nursing in supporting and facilitating this shift.

Example 1 ( Austin ) 

Health care reforms have been pivotal in transitioning the focus from treating illnesses to promoting wellness and prevention. This shift recognizes the benefits of preventive measures in enhancing overall health outcomes, reducing chronic disease prevalence, and decreasing health care expenses (Eliasen et al., 2021). Policies now encourage preventive services like immunizations and health screenings at no extra cost, alongside initiatives aimed at encouraging healthy living and lifestyle modifications.

As health care evolves, the trend towards wellness and prevention is likely to persist, driven by the integration of technological advancements such as telemedicine and health informatics. These tools expand access to preventive care and health education. Furthermore, the shift towards value-based care models, which incentivize health care providers based on patient health outcomes rather than service quantity, supports this focus on preventive care.

The ACA’s emphasis on workplace wellness programs is a key example of this shift, showing how companies with a strong culture of health achieve better financial outcomes and lower employee turnover, further illustrating the shift towards prevention and wellness in the health care sector (Anderko et al., 2012).

Nurses are integral in this shift towards a more preventive health care model. They often serve as the initial contact for patients within the health care system, positioning them as key educators on preventive health practices, healthy lifestyles, and self-management techniques. Nurses also engage in community health initiatives, advocating for public health and wellness programs. Their involvement in developing health policies and wellness initiatives underscores their vital role in steering the health care system towards prioritizing holistic health and prevention.

Examples 2 ( Melanie) 

Healthcare reform has played an essential role in shifting the focus from disease-oriented healthcare to one of prevention and well-being. Globally, 1 in 3 adults is being treated for complex chronic or “lifestyle” conditions that may be prevented or controlled through preventative care (Eliasen et al., 2021). Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths and account for 75% of the nation’s healthcare spending (cms.gov, 2023). Wellness and prevention-centered care, aka preventative medicine, focuses on enabling individuals to reach their full health potential, shifting from disease management to enabling health (Eliasen et al., 2021). High-quality preventive care assists individuals in “getting healthy and staying healthy”, as well as avoiding or delaying the onset of disease or chronic conditions (cms.gov, 2023). Offering benefits such as improved health, greater workplace productivity, and reduced healthcare costs, healthcare has shifted the focus from disease-oriented healthcare to wellness and prevention (cms.gov), 2023). Often focusing on social determinants of health i.e. financial barriers and education, healthcare initiatives have been established to help remove barriers and obstacles to preventative care (cms.gov, 2023). The Affordable Care Act is a comprehensive healthcare reform law that was established to help remove financial barriers to prevent care, The ACA makes healthcare insurance affordable to more people, expands the Medicaid program, and supports innovative medical care methods (cms.gov, 2023). 

Professional nurses play an essential role in supporting and facilitating patient wellness and preventative healthcare. Nursing offers education to patients regarding disease prevention, management, and diagnosis, and promotes healthy living and lifestyle options. Nursing may help patients monitor blood pressure, screen and manage diabetes, offer smoking cessation options, and promote wellness checks. Through high-quality, preventive healthcare options, nursing may help patients live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Example 3 (Jenna)

Health care reform has helped to shift the focus from disease-oriented health care systems to one of wellness and prevention. Health care in reform initiatives has recognized the importance of addressing social determinants of health. These determinants include socioeconomic status, education, and environment. By researching and acknowledging these factors the focus has shifted from just treating medical conditions to promoting overall health and well being. Trying to prevent diseases and sickness as much as possible is the goal. There has been emphasis on educating patients on healthy behaviors. Preventative care encourages people to adopt healthy behaviors and make informed lifestyle choices. This makes sense, rather than waiting for an illness to happen health care now aims to prevent diseases through early intervention, screenings and health education. This trend in health care can continue through integrating new care models that emphasize prevention. Collaborative efforts among primary care providers, specialists and community resources can help to enhance preventative services. Nurses play a vital role in caring out this trend. Nurses are at the frontline for preventive care. They educate patients about healthy lifestyles, preventative screenings and vaccinations. Nurses can advocate for healthier lifestyles for themselves and patients by advocating for policies that promote preventative care as well. Nurses along with other health care professionals can help this transformation and ensure healthier communities. 

Explain how health care reform has helped shift the focus from a disease-oriented health care system to one of wellness and prevention.

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