While arguably one of the best health care systems in the world, the U.S health care system faces a myriad of significant challenges that have highlighted the need of reforms in the system. There is sufficient evidence to prove that the citizens of America do not get the care that they need despite the fact that the American government spends a lot of money per person on health care more than any other country in the world. This means that there are many inefficiencies that have not been addressed by the government and the relevant stakeholders in the health care field. These inefficiencies have caused barriers in the health care system. The barriers can present themselves to the patients, the health care providers, and the organization of health services. For this reason, one can say that barriers occur at the patient level and the provider level (Lighter and Fair, 2004). On the patient level, there are several barriers, which influence patient responsibility. These barriers include cultural barriers, social barriers, and illiteracy. There are also barriers that affect the health service providers. Some of the barriers that affect the health service providers include unfavorable medical procedures, practices, and wrong communication style.
One of the ways to increase the quality of health care is through formulating policies that promote patient responsibility. However, there are barriers that may affect the success of the plans to increase patient responsibility. To every human being culture is very important. As much as it is good to the development of the human beings, culture may also pose a challenge in the bid to increase quality of the health. For example, there are people prohibited by their cultures to take certain types of medicine (Lighter & Fair, 2004). This usually posses a great problem to the plans that are in place to ensure quality of health services provided to the people. On the same note, some cultures may also require people to seek divine intervention or traditional medicine before they can visit the hospitals. This means that seeking medical attention from medical practitioners are disregarded where the patient may feel that he or she has received healing (Lighter & Fair, 2004).
Social barriers may also play a part in hindering the success of the plans to increase patient responsibility. Every human being has a social life they engage in every day. Some social factors and behaviors may negatively affect the effort of increasing quality in health care. For example, if a person lacks financial resources, he or she might not seek medical attention in the hospital. Some social behaviors such as drinking alcohol may make a person forgetful and reckless hence affecting the success of the plans to increase patient responsibility (Muller, Jooste, and Bezuidenhout, 2006).
Illiteracy is also a factor that may influence the success of health services plan to increase patient responsibility. Illiteracy makes a person unaware of; the benefits of going to hospital to seek proper medical attention, the consequences for skipping medication among others (Muller, Jooste, & Bezuidenhout, 2006). When the level of illiteracy among a population is high, then the effort to increase patient responsibility is hindered.
The plan to increase health care provider responsibility also faces some barriers. Unfavorable medical procedures are one of the major challenges that affect health care provider responsibility. When one makes changes to the health care providers systems, by changing the procedures for treatment, one might make the medical procedures and practices unfavorable (Lighter & Fair, 2004).
Adopting a wrong communication style by the health care providers may also influence the success of the health services plan to increase the quality of care from health care providers. The communication style used by a hospital is very important in determining the manner in which the patients interact with the hospital. Some changes may be made to the communication style of a health care provider with the aim of improving the quality of health care but in turn has led to the deteriorating of the quality of service offered by the health care providers (Muller, Jooste, & Bezuidenhout, 2006).
In conclusion, despite making effort to increase the quality of health care delivered to the people, there are barriers that hinder the realization of this effort. These barriers exist on the patient level and on the health care provider level. On the patient level, barriers such as cultural barriers, social barriers, and illiteracy have been serving as a setback to the success of the health care services plan. On the health care provider level, unfavorable medical procedures and the wrong communication style have been the hindrance to the of the health care services plan.
Lighter, D., & Fair, C. D. (2004). Quality Management in health care: Principles and methods. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Muller, M., Jooste, K., & Bezuidenhout, M. (2006). Heath care service management. London: Juta and Company Ltd.