Features of Patient-Focused Care – Health System Example

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"Features of Patient-Focused Care" is a great example of a paper on the health system.                       This research paper demonstrates a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the health sector. This paper uses the application of utilitarianism in the health care system to demonstrate the violation of the act. Utilitarianism is a philosophical view that says the benefiting the good of the greatest number is the best way of making the decision. When utilitarianism is applied in the health profession, it may have a huge impact. This is because every day in hospitals critical decision is made which involve the issue of life and death.

Therefore, applying utilitarianism may result in making the decision that is not fair to all patients. This paper argues that utilitarianism is a bad approach and harms the health profession. This paper examines different circumstances and maintains that utilitarianism is unacceptable and therefore should not be applied in the health profession. Patient-focused care It would be correct to argue that all health care needs to be patient-focused. However, this is not the case since there are several variable needs to be considered during the patient treatment process.

These include technology, issues related to patient health, and the experience of health professionals. The patient view of the health care system is also not the same as the view of the health profession. To a physician, the main aim is to promote the diagnoses of the disease, treatment, and management (Segera, 2009). However, a patient looks at health care from a different perspective. He or she generally anticipates that the physician will be able to treat him or her without errors and that he or she wound get well (Segera, 2009).

The patient also requires their feelings to be respected. He or she also expects that the treatment system should not be expensive. Health care professionals should attempt to balance the benefit of cost-effective treatment and patient-centered care. In this case, the health professional must not act by the philosophical concept of utilitarianism. Truthfulness in nursing care                       Health professionals have the responsibility of telling the truth concerning different aspects of their patients’ health. A patient usually has a right to know about the diagnosis of the disease, the expected progress of the disease, and the various health care interventions available.

Health professionals also have the responsibility of helping the patients to understand their health status (Adams, 2011). However, there are certain cases where the facts regarding the patient's health status are withheld. This usually occurs when a professional realizes that giving correct facts to a patient would hurt the patient’ s current health state. According to the philosophical concept of utilitarianism, one is supposed to make the decision based on the good of the greatest number (Adams, 2011).

In this case, the physician acts against the principle by withholding information from the patient. However, one can justify the conduct of the health professional in that he withholds the information for the benefit of the patient. Medical emergencies                       During a medical emergency, the medical personnel concentrates solely on the agent case to try and secure the life of the victim. When the physicians concentrate on saving the lives of victims involved in an emergency they tend to overlook other patients.

The other patients, therefore, do not get enough attention. This leads to a breach of their right to equal and fair treatment. For instance, no one bothers to find out how each patient is doing and whether there is an improvement or not. Instead, all the medical personnel tries to focus on is the emergency case only. When the medical people fail to attend to other patients and concentrate only on emergency cases they do not conform to the theoretical concept of utilitarianism (Adams, 2011). This is because according to that view one should make the decision based on the good for the greatest numbers.

In this case, one may justify the act of not conforming to the principle of utilitarianism because it enables the medical personnel to save a life by responding immediately. One may also argue that if medical persons treated all cases equally they may not be able to save a life in the case of an emergency. Thus, medical persons should not conform to the philosophical view of utilitarianism since it may lead to loss of life in case of an emergency (Carrin, 2009). Biomedical Research and public health policy The main objective of carrying out biomedical research is to approve or reject a formulated hypothesis about a particular predicted outcome.

The data from biomedical research are useful in formulating public health policies aimed at dealing with the problem identified in the research (Hanssen & Alpers, 2010). In the case of a human being, the research targets a specific group of people. After the information is collected, the public health policy is developed, and they mainly target all individuals prone to the disease or condition (Smith, 2010).

When collecting data everybody in the entire target group is involved. However, the information collected is not subject to public disclosure in most cases. This violates the right to information of the group involved since they are entitled to the knowledge of the data collected from them. In this case, the medical person in biomedical research ignores the theory of utilitarianism. One can justify the act of the medical personnel in that the information collected is for the policy developer in public health and other relevant bodies (Morrison & Monagle, 2009). Nonmaleficence The non-maleficence as applied in the health system is simply the act of not harm others.

According to this rule, the treatment should not pose a health risk to the patient. The physician should ensure that he does not cause harm, tries to prevent harm, removes any harm, and promotes good of the patent (Lundy, & Janes, 2009). However, their specific circumstances where the physician does not abide by the act, these include cases where the medical person attempts to prolong the life of the patient.

In this case, the physician acts against the utilitarianism view by trying to prolong the life of the patient. Conclusion                       Most of the decisions made in the health system are essential. The medical person therefore should consider several factors before making the decision, and not just the simple idea of “ good for the greatest number” that emanates from the utilitarian philosophical view. It is also evident that in some situations any attempt to make the decision based on the utilitarian view may violate the HIPAA ethical code.

I can, therefore, conclude that utilitarianism is a false view and should not have a place in the health system.


Adams, J. (2011). Nurse prescribing ethics and medical marketing. Nursing Standard, 25(29), 62-66.

Carrin, G. (2009). Health systems policy, finance, and organization. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

Cegala, D. (2009 ): The Impact of patients' participation in physician's patient-centered communication. Patient Educ Couns 77:202-208.

Hanssen, I., & Alpers, L. (2010). Utilitarian and common-sense morality discussions in intercultural nursing practice. Nursing Ethics, 17(2), 201-211.

Lundy, K. S., & Janes, S. (2009). Community health nursing: Caring for the public's health. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Morrison, E. E., & Monagle, J. F. (2009). Health care ethics: Critical issues for the 21st century. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Smith, H. M. (2010). Measuring the Consequences of Rules. Utilitas, 22(4), 413-433.

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