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Critical Reflection Essay Sample

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Health policy analysis is an area that calls for skills and knowledge from an array of perspectives and disciplines. This week, I focused on chapter one of the book “Health Policy Analysis: Framework and Tools for Success”, that is written by Seavey, Aytur, and McGrath. Titled “Health Policy Analysis,” the chapter begins with describing the employment of the terms politics, policy, as well as health as explained within models relating to the political policy process. In addition, the chapter discusses the significance of evidence-based health policy and the issues associated with the implementation of health policy. The importance of data in the process of formulating evidence-based policy is also discussed with utmost precision. However, the application of the terms efficiency, effectiveness, and equity when developing and implementing health policy is a major takeaway from the chapter that I believe will transform my practice as a pharmacist going into the future. Simply put, public programs, laws, expenditures, and policies that are approved through political systems are all intended to affect organizations, people, and other levels of political systems. For the healthcare sector, the significance of public policy differs from other sectors of the economy as it implies a matter of life and death. As Seavey et al. (2014) point out, the choices that are made via the political process/ system decide when healthcare practitioners are required to perform in the society and patient’s wishes and interests, and when they might be allowed to act on the basis of their own desires. While the political process reserves the right for developing healthcare policy, the process should be done in such a way that it promotes equity, effectiveness, and efficiency in the practice of medicine and ensures the common good of patients and families.

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From reading the chapter, various connections can be made between the reading, what I see or experience in my job, and what is going on in the healthcare context, in general. There has been a renewed focus on evidence-based public health and evidence-based medicine, which underlies the need for the evaluation of what actually works in public health and medicine. In this light, evidence-based policy remains central in ongoing health politics, with a key focus on effectiveness and efficiency (D’Andreamatteo et al., 2015). The need for effectiveness and efficiency transcends to the field of pharmacy – where I specialize. My organization aims to provide healthcare services to its patients with the highest standards of quality. It ensures the provision of effective treatment that contribute to improving the health of its patients and discourages any type of waste that absorbs the resources without reasonable reason and indeed not add value such as the waste of medicines. Thus, my organization enacts its policies with consideration of the effectiveness, either medicine effectiveness or population effectiveness, as the authors mentioned in the article with excellent examples. In my own practice of pharmacy, to ensure I realize the aim of delivering quality health services, I dedicate effort and time to health promotion and making sure pharmaceutical staff deliver medications which have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the federal government which is the body with the powers of approving or disapproving all drug-related medical interventions though concurrently, not permitted to involve in the authorization of different medical procedures.

With the explanation of health and health policy, Seavey et al. (2014)’s article is an important contribution to the field of healthcare and to society at large. The chapter highlights the various steps that are essential in the formulation and implementation of health policy. Even though I have 17 years of experience in the field of pharmacy, there has been a very significant change over the recent years in the improvement of health services in general and pharmaceutical services in particular, which requires one to acquire many skills as a pharmacist that contribute to upgrading the services to the highest level. One of these skills that we have to gain is the ability to participate in health policy formulation at the organizational level and to communicate our position on different issues related to pharmacy and overall care provision. Personally, I understand that health policy is usually intended to improve the quality of patient care and my aim would be to provide the best services to clients in my capacity as a pharmacist and IV room supervisor. I will strive to employ evidence in providing care services of high quality. I will be able to monitor medication errors effectively and devise mechanisms to be proactive rather than reactive in order to reduce the changes of the recurrence and any fatal harm that could happen to patients. I will be able to participate in rewriting policy and or adopt new ones to prevent these medication errors and improve overall patient outcomes.

Seavey et al. (2014) is a well-written chapter that appeals to its readers and is easy to understand. The authors demonstrate good mastery of content and history of healthcare policy in the United States over the years. That the authors have tackled the issue of equity in formulating healthcare policy in detail is also a key strength. While the United States has made various milestones in improving health outcomes, it is unfortunate that discrimination still exists in the healthcare landscape (Seavey et al., 2014). Therefore, promoting fairness in the healthcare system should form a priority for policymakers, and healthcare leaders and practitioners. Besides, with the increasing emphasis on evidence-based practice, the article makes a great contribution by detailing how to incorporate evidence into health policy. Evidence enlightens health policymakers, largely shaping how policy issues are framed rather than simply providing short-term answers to any particular medical or clinical problem. However, even though the study mentions the national efforts of health policy analysis, it fails to explain whether there have been positive outcomes by the individual entities. Some organizations have been criticized for focusing excessively on the collection of data without instituting or proposing possible remedies to issues that affect the healthcare sector, in general (Brownson, Baker, Deshpande, & Gillespie, 2017). Therefore, the author is missing something by simply detailing the existence and roles of various government and private agencies in the formulation of health policy. It would have been appropriate for the study to inform on the successes of the agencies, including their contribution to evidence-based health policy.

Nonetheless, the readings challenge some of prior assumptions. While health is often considered in line with access to care services and most public policies are aimed at ensuring healthcare insurance, it emerges that health is not given, but rather societies create the conditions that favor both health and disease. Therefore, the purpose of the policymaker and healthcare practitioners is to create conditions that enhance health at all times. In enhancing population health, good practices should range from public education, maintaining a clean environment, and good nutrition. The underlying rationale is that preventing illness is often economical than treating illness. Similarly, while policymaking is thought to be a fairly straightforward process as outlined in the constitution, the readings emphasize the importance of involving all healthcare stakeholders (Seavey et al., 2014). With this view, all stakeholders should have the leeway to take part in the process of making health policy, whether through intense lobbying or expert presentations to house committees.

The findings in the readings have various implications for my practice. Even though I might not immediately begin taking part in policymaking at the state and federal level, the aim would be to change the internal operations within healthcare organizations to ensure equity, efficiency, and effective patient care. As a pharmacist and IV room supervisor, there is need stop medications when they prove to be not working and consult with physicians to change therapy where possible, along with taking part in illness prevention through patient education.

When the current reading is considered in the context of other course readings, the common points are that the healthcare system is rapidly evolving, and with it implies new duties and opportunities for healthcare practitioners.

In particular, the healthcare sector is in a state of transition to evidence-based practice largely spearheaded by policies made at both the federal and state level. The present healthcare practitioners do not solely focus on illness diagnosis and dispensing medication but have diversified roles to include exercise therapies, provision of relevant drug information, diet education, and advocacy and health promotion. Similarly, the political system has acknowledged that realizing desirable health outcomes requires the manipulations of a number of interconnected aspects. This explains why health policy has diversified to include transport policy, environmental policy, educational policy, as well as economic policy. However, in the context of other course readings, the current chapter could be considered a good introduction for students who are beginners to the course.

References
Brownson, R. C., Baker, E. A., Deshpande, A. D., & Gillespie, K. N. (2017). Evidence-based public health. New York: Oxford University Press.
D’Andreamatteo, A., Ianni, L., Lega, F., & Sargiacomo, M. (2015). Lean in healthcare: A comprehensive review. Health Policy, 119(9), 1197-1209.
Seavey, J. W., Aytur, S. A., & McGrath, R. J. (2014). Health policy analysis: Framework and tools for success. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
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