Healthcare accessibility is commonly described as the convenience with which someone can receive the medical care they require. There are a myriad of reasons that can reduce access to medical care, although it is true that most of them are linked to social, cultural, economic and geographical issues.
Although there are several options to narrow service barriers across each area, we have outlined a few instances of provider services around the world that make a difference.
Going to the doctor isn’t always as simple as it looks. Remember, for example, the elderly: because they are unwilling to drive, they are forced to rely on their friends and relatives for a lift, or to use the transport offered by the government to reach their appointments. This pressure point is growing easier due to the increase of ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber, but several health providers are looking for how to make a difference — after all, offering mobility options will boost access to treatment and essential drugs that can have a significant effect on long-term care results.
Language gaps remain a strong obstacle to access to health services. For certain cases, poor English comprehension renders it impossible to grasp care choices and drug enforcement orders. The Joint Commission mandates hospitals to offer interpreters to those needing help, although that obligation can be fulfilled by leveraging current bilingual team members. Hiring permanent interpreters is not necessarily a feasible option owing to the expense and shortage of compensation of interpreters and the amount of languages often needed.
In addition to focusing on volunteer interpreters, several hospital systems have switched to technological approaches that directly connect healthcare professionals to central, on-site interpreters to reduce service expenses and inefficiencies.
Another choice open to hospitals is interactive synchronized medical transcription, where doctors and patients utilize an interactive interpreter-connected headset. Interactive multimedia services such as Stratus Multimedia provide clinics and community facilities with a variety of tools for obtaining trained interpreters.
Two approaches to enhance access to healthcare by proximity include working with outpatient surgery centers and operating a walk-in facility. They both come with their own expenses, but with more patients looking for convenience, the cost could be beneficial.
Improvements in the market
With significant gains in health care coverage according to a research, there were as many as 30 million non-elderly individuals lacking coverage in 2017. And higher out-of-pocket costs have an impact on many who are at or near the poverty line.
As a consequence, several hospitals and facilities participate in direct primary treatment under a subscription program tailored specifically for non-insured patients according to Medisupps.com
For certain instances, regular assessments and treatments are provided, although certain organizations provide preferential prices on other programs.
Even though it is certainly not a replacement for health coverage, the model of membership in direct primary care could increase access for patients who would otherwise forfeit medical care due to out-of-pocket costs.
Bottom line: Access to patients is a top priority
Each of these examples demonstrates how providers and care centers target specific problems that impact their community at large access to health care. If it’s assisting people navigate to their appointments or digging deeper into why a certain segment of the community is not getting the services they deserve, seeking to relieve societal, cultural and economic stresses is a vital aspect of a systemic approach to health care. There’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach, but medical results will be strengthened by increasing everyday obstacles to treatment.