Continuum of care is an integrated system of care that guides and tracks patients over time through comprehensive steps of health services spanning all levels of intensity care. Effective continuum of care involves concept providing a framework for delivery of optimum health care to patient populations.
Several factors influence health care delivery. For example, geographic location would have more or less a positive influence on health care delivery. Area of residence, may it be in a metropolitan city or rural locality, and the quality of service have an effect on people's health. This involves the distance one has to travel to get the medical care and the availability of the service provider, and this entails the geographical location. In a metropolitan city, many residents will access medical care with ease, and they benefit fully from the system. In these areas, there is a proportionate share of high-quality health care service providers (Kahn et al.). As recommended in the Understanding the U.S. Health Services System, in a metropolitan city, procedures and steps are taken to perfect health care service delivery to all residents independently of their race or religion, unlike in rural local facilities that have disproportionate low-quality health care provided influenced by patient’s race.
People living in a metropolitan city are associated with high income and have access to quality health care even with current economic situation. There is a major tertiary care hospital in a metropolitan city allowing good access to quality care. Compared with people living in urban areas, rural residents have higher poverty rates, tend to be faced by health challenges, and face more difficulty in accessing health services. There are a large number of primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other health resources compared to other areas. In urban areas, distance and availability of transport to an emergency room or hospital enables receiving prompt treatment. Local health care system finds it difficult to hire, host, and raise funds to acquire and maintain proficient medical professionals and health service providers. In urban city, there is the availability of special services, such as treatment for rare diseases and expensive diagnostic equipment.
Apart from geographic location, there are other factors that affect health care service delivery, either in a metropolitan city or local health, either positively or negatively. Lack of finances makes people without insurance covers not to seek medical care or not be able to buy medicines. In addition, the government faces a challenge to develop new hospitals or buy expensive diagnostic equipments. People who are not conversant in spoken and written English are likely to have challenges in accessing optimum primary care due to inability to understand instructions received from care providers. Language barrier face people mostly in local areas. Some people are less likely to seek care due to their personal ethnic believes; this is because they think medical providers will discriminate against treating them appropriately because of their race, gender, or religion. Others think home remedies will work better, and they still believe vaccinations cause autism, thus they end up denying their child preventive care.
Understanding the U.S. health care systems explains the organization and financing of the system, which has a positive impact on the health care delivery, as well as placing the U.S. health care in a greater international context. The text tries to outline the challenges faced in the health sector and how to overcome them. Moreover, it outlines sources of funding for medical care from both, public health insurance and private health insurance. U.S. government assists patients by reimbursing funds to hospitals and health service providers. The funds are also sourced from private insurers. This has led to the country enjoying gain in life expectancy over past 40 years. GRMC as a provider meets most settings provided by the Understanding U.S. health service system text by being committed to providing high-quality care in a friendly hospital environment and offering comprehensive health care services. Patients should have access to appropriate care and information, and providers are culturally competent and responsive to patients’ needs. The setting also requires a clear accountability of the total care of patients.
Geographical location and individual circumstances, such as finances, doctor’s, patient’s ability to communicate, race, and gender affect health care delivery. Other factors impacting delivery of services along the continuum of care are related to personal beliefs about medical care and medical care practitioners.