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Healthcare Quality & Efficiency in the U.S.

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  • 0:03 Economics & Healthcare
  • 0:41 Healthcare Economics
  • 1:42 Healthcare Within the U.S.
  • 2:30 Countries Similar to the U.S.
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Alyssa Campbell

Alyssa is an active RN and teaches Nursing and Leadership university courses. She also has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Master's in Business Administration.

Quality and efficiency are critical aspects of successful healthcare delivery. Complete this lesson to learn more about the healthcare economics of the United States and how the U.S. compares to other countries around the world.

Economics & Healthcare

Always troubled with the sight of blood but inspired by his parents in the medical field, Jay is pursuing a degree in healthcare economics. Economics, or the study of how goods and services are created, provided, and delivered, continues to be a topic of interesting family discussions.

When applied to healthcare services around the world, Jay begins to learn of the disproportionate and uneven level of quality regarding healthcare in class. For his next group project, his team must identify a foreign country similar to the United States and compare the two in terms of the quality and efficiency of their healthcare.

Healthcare Economics

Jay understands healthcare economics to be the study of the creation, delivery, and distribution of healthcare services and medical supplies. To better understand his assigned project, he looks deeper into the meaning of quality and health efficiency as defined by the Institute of Medicine, a national foundation focused on improving healthcare. He finds the following definitions useful:

  • Quality of healthcare refers to the efforts and results impacting care or health outcomes; for example, decreased lung cancer rates related to increased smoking cessation education efforts

  • Health efficiency refers to using all available health resources cautiously and wisely to promote a level of health

As Jay learns from his parents, the importance of healthcare economics, or the value of care services and supplies, is becoming increasingly more important to individuals. This means that consumers, or healthcare customers, are expecting to get high quality services and supplies at an affordable price.

Healthcare Within the U.S.

Consumer expectations are rapidly changing, along with legislation aimed at advancing access to care, enabling more people to benefit from healthcare within the United States. As his parents have served as traveling missionaries in different parts of the world, Jay frequently hears them discussing the fact that if the U.S. considered more efficient ways to maximize available resources, the quality of care would increase while keeping costs stable.

To best compare the U.S. healthcare system with other similarly developed countries, Jay consults reputable government sources. To his surprise, he finds that despite the U.S.'s positive reputation as an economic powerhouse, his country ranks low in terms of healthcare quality and efficiency, despite the shockingly high cost of care.

Countries Similar to the U.S.

Jay determines that comparing similarly developed and industrialized countries will effectively gauge the status of the U.S. healthcare system. The team chooses to compare the U.S. with Canada and Singapore to illustrate key differences.

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