Health Policy Implementation: Moving Beyond Its Barriers in United States

Health Policy Implementation: Moving Beyond Its Barriers in United States

Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0920-2.ch032
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This research describes policy implementation 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 paper explains that the outcome of health policy implementation determines the availability, quality and equitability of program service delivery. The paper goes on to argue that policy implementation barriers, such as demand-and supply-side barriers, market, insufficient resources, cultural barriers, imperfect communication, information, education, coordination, leadership and governance affect the poor and vulnerable groups in developed and developing countries from benefitting from public spending on public health policies and programs.
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Conceptual Clarifications

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.

Health Policy

Health policy means more than a national law or intervention. Operational policies are the rules regulations, guidelines and administrative norms that governments use to translate national laws and police into programs and services. Health policy can be defined as the decisions plans and actions that are undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals in a society. Health policy can also support program activities, such as elimination of inequities in healthcare delivery services or mobilization of community health workers.

Key Terms in this Chapter

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

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.

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.

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.

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