THE FUTURE OF PRIMARY CARE
In the 21st century, the healthcare challenges facing the country have dramatically shifted. The American population is older; according to an estimation by Bennett & Phillips (2010), Americans aged 70 and older will be nearly 20% of the entire population by 2030. The diversity of the population will also be more diverse not only in the aspect of ethnicity and race but also in other socioeconomic and cultural factors. These shifts in the population’s demographics will significantly impact on the nation’s health care needs.
In the contemporary society, most health care relate to chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and mental health conditions, due to the nation’s aging population and the constant increase in obesity levels (Bennett & Phillips 2010). These trends in the country’s health care system are significantly different from the health care system a few decades ago when the nation’s health system was primarily based around the treatment of acute illnesses and injuries, the predominant health challenges of the early 20th century (Bodenheimer & Pham, 2010).
With the constant changes in health care demands in the U.S., the country needs to be at the forefront of modern primary care development to meet the future health care demand of the citizens. As such, strong leadership is required to realize the vision of a transformed health care system. The vision of the future primary care workforce should be drawn from the people impacted by the healthcare system, the existing literature on health care systems, the professional experience of health care experts and, perhaps most of all, from the innovative examples of primary care seen across the country. To realize the vision in developing a health care systems that meet the future primary care needs, the National Health Service needs to procure highly skilled workforce, well- developed IT systems, and effective multi- disciplinary teams (Petterson, et al., 2012). To achieve the vision, the nation’s primary care needs to change. Despite the fact that in future the primary care practice will still be based around the GDP per person holding responsibility for the care of its registered patients, the practice should have a stronger focus of the population as a whole and the expanded workforce. In the future, most of the existing health care professionals should have the ability to develop new roles; patients should be prepared to meet new types of healthcare professionals such as physicians associates in various occasions; the clinical staff should be served with a better administrative support and; healthcare professionals should regularly meet with their patients to plan and discuss their care.
The health care professionals will also communicate among each other and with patients by email, phone, video- conference, and electronic messaging (Bodenheimer & Pham, 2010). Other than the improve practice of the healthcare practitioners and the better conduct of patients, the development of the future health care system will require more established health facilities and institutions. The health premises should be upgraded to effectively utilize community facilities to …