How do hospitals ensure they are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations within the communities that they serve?

What factors should be considered to ensure that nurses working in acute care settings meet the six Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Aims for Improving Healthcare Quality?

How do hospitals ensure they are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations within the communities that they serve?

Care for Vulnerable Populations

Hospitals remain a significant source of health care for millions of vulnerable populations. Continuous transformation of healthcare and hospitals poses a challenge to vulnerable populations at risk of losing their primary healthcare services, resources, and opportunities essential for maintaining quality care for all.

As such, the health care financiers and providers are tasked with developing strategies to enhance and preserve health care for the vulnerable. Ensuring equitable and culturally decent care facilitates maintenance for these communities. This can be achieved by diversifying health care services to help eliminate existing cultural, ethnic, and racial disparities. The healthcare leadership can also introduce training of culturally competent nurses to handle patients’ healthcare issues.

The social determinants of health, which include health care affordability, economic stability, environmental challenges such as Access to quality housing, food and treated water, income, healthcare literacy levels, and poverty, should be addressed (Bhatt & Bathija, 2018). Health care providers are tasked with educating and engaging vulnerable populations through health promotions, sensitization on genetic diseases, early screening of diseases, insurance promotion, and alignment with local services among these groups.

The six aims of the health care system put forth by the institute of medicine (IOM) include; safety, effectiveness, patient-centered, timely, efficiency, and equitable care (Dhurjati et al., 2019). To ensure the aims above are achieved, the nursing staff should be competent and well-equipped with the skills necessary for care provision. They should also be available in emergent and urgent situations and at the patient’s bedside to address any arising need. Moreover, care should be holistically, effectively, and efficiently for the patient. How do hospitals ensure they are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations within the communities that they serve?

References

  • Bhatt, J., & Bathija, P. (2018). Ensuring Access to quality health care in Vulnerable Communities. Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges93(9), 1271–1275. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000002254
  • Dhurjati, R., Sigurdson, K., & Profit, J. (2019). Patient- and family-centered care as a dimension of quality. American Journal of Medical Quality: The Official Journal of the American College of Medical Quality34(3), 307–308. https://doi.org/10.1177/1062860618814312