From Resource to Outcome: Addressing the Barriers of Healthcare Policy Implementation

From Resource to Outcome: Addressing the Barriers of Healthcare Policy Implementation

Khadijeh (Roya) Rouzbehani (University of Victoria, Canada) and Mehdi Araghi (University of Ottawa, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1371-2.ch010

Abstract

Governments often create policies that rely on implementation by arm's length organizations and require practice changes on the part of different segments of the healthcare system without understanding the differences in and complexities of these agencies. This research describes components of a health system and explains how they affect outcomes. It argues that implemented policies affect various components of a health system in terms of service delivery, workforce, information, financing, medical products, technologies, leadership, and governance. Using health system as framework of analysis, the chapter explains that the outcome of health policy implementation determines the availability, quality, and equability of program service delivery. The chapter further argues that policy implementation barriers affect the poor and vulnerable groups from benefiting from public spending on public health policies and programs.
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Conceptual Elaboration

Health System

Health system comprises all organizations, institutions and resources that are devoted to producing health actions. Health actions in this context refers to any efforts, whether in personal healthcare, public health services or through intersectional initiatives whose primary purpose is to improve health. It is an open system with three components of input, processes and outputs. Inputs required in a healthcare system include; finance, physical structure, equipment personnel and clients. The process refers to a series of activities that transform inputs (resources) into a desired product, service or output. The term output is used to describe the direct result of the interaction of inputs and processes in the system, the types of and quantities of goods and services produced by any activity, program or project. On the other hand, the term outcome refers to the result of the outputs, the effects or impacts.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Inputs: Resources such as people, raw materials, energy, information, or finance that are put into a system (such as an economy, manufacturing plant, computer system) to obtain a desired output. Inputs are classified under costs in accounting.

Health Policy: Health policy broadly describes the actions taken by governments—national, state, and local—to advance the public's health. It is not a single action but requires a range of legislative and regulatory efforts ranging from ensuring air and water quality to supporting cancer research. Health care policy is that piece of health policy that deals with the organization, financing and delivery of health care services. This includes training of health professionals, overseeing the safety of drugs and medical devices, administering public programs like Medicare and regulating private health insurance.

Implementation: Public policy implementation consists of organized activities by government directed toward the-achievement of goals and objectives articulated in authorized policy statements.

Policy Outcomes: The outcome of what is implemented.

Health System: It’s the organization of people, institutions, and resources that deliver healthcare services to meet the health needs of target populations.

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