May 18, 2013
The healthcare industry today has many challenges; two major challenges are the increasing aged population and the extreme obesity problem. Both of these problems have been evident for a long time and have been trending up for decades. The aging population has some unique problems and special care will be needed to take care of them, such as increased fall risk and monitoring for patients with Alzheimer’s. The same is true for the obese; they will be much more susceptible to chronic disease like diabetes. Both of these trends will put a large strain on the healthcare industry.
The population of Americans 65 and over will double from the year 2000 to 2030, from 35 million to over 71 million (CDC, MMWR, Feb. 14, 2003). This is not only the trend in the United States it is the same worldwide. Senior citizens will double worldwide by 2030. This is a big concern because every country will need more resources to care for the ageing population. There will need to be more medical workers and more hospitals and nursing homes for the elderly to go to. The cost of healthcare will be another large consideration. Healthcare is very expensive and because of the age of, “the baby boomers”, many will not have the resources to pay for their medical costs. It is also a bad time economically worldwide, many Countries are also bankrupt and do not have the resources to take care of the elderly. It is not only the aged that will be affected with the “tide” of retirees. Because of all of the resources that will be needed to take proper care of the elderly, there will be a strain on the system to be able to take care of all of the younger patients. The resources do not only include funds and financing but also the physical items needed in the healthcare setting. There will also be environmental impacts on the ageing patients. The older body cannot handle pollutants that a younger person may be able to recover from. There is also the consideration of the initial health of the senior citizen’s in question. There is a “fit versus frail” factor that must be figured into the study information to get a more accurate picture of the trend. Some of the environmental concerns will crop up from the ageing group itself. Many of the elderly will be put together in nursing homes and because of the economy the available space per person will likely shrink over the next few years. Because of possible overcrowding there will be many diseases that will flourish in that type of environment. Another impact on the environment that does not affect the patient directly, but the global environment there would be more waste products coming from the care settings that take care of the 100’s of millions of elderly.
Healthcare acquired infections (HAI) are on the rise, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “HAI’s are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. At any given time about 1 in 20 patients, has an infection related to hospital care.” Any invasive procedure may cause an infection, such as, catheters, surgeries, endotracheal, and injections. One of the most worrisome infections is MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). According to the Mayo clinic, there are two basic types of MRSA. The first type is healthcare – associated (HA-MRSA). The second type is community – associated (CA-MRSA). There are different types of staphylococcus aureus bacteria, but the generic name is “staph”. About one third of the population has staph bacteria on or in them at any time. The bacteria are not normally a problem unless it enters the body through a wound or surgical site. When the staph does cause an infection and antibiotics are used, the staph has such a short reproduction time that it is able to become resistant to the anti-biotic over time. This can happen with many different antibiotics...
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