HealthAssessment Unit 6
Healthassessment is an essential aspect of the health care system. Itinvolves the identification of the specific health care needs and thedevelopment of a strategy through which these needs will be addressedin the health care system. For example, a basic health assessment mayinvolve an evaluation of an individual health status by conductingdiagnostic tests and physical examination or checking the patienthistory. At the community level, health assessment involvesidentifying the health care needs of the patients and developing thenecessary structures that are necessary to ensure that the healthcare systems are able to deal with the community health care needs(Phillips et al, 2012).
Childrenwith special needs have numerous health care challenges. Thesechallenges have direct implication on many aspects of their lives,including physical, cognitive and emotional development. Generally,children with special health care needs in the community are morevulnerable and underserved by the health care system. A healthassessment to determine the needs of these special needs children anddevelop a plan to improve health outcomes is critical. The assessmentwill involve identifying the number of children with special needs inthe society. Federal statistics have estimated the number of specialhealth care needs children to be up to sixteen percent of allchildren in the United States (LA Health, 2005). In Los AngelesCounty, fifteen percent of children have been classified as specialneeds children. These children are fairly distributed across thesocial classes and groups. After determining the demographics of thespecial needs patients, the next step would be determining theiraccess to health care services. According to the report majority,about 95 five percent, of the children have access to regular healthcare services. Additionally, majority are covered by health careinsurance. Despite this, a fifth of them experience difficulties inaccessing health care services. The accessibility of health careservices was mainly hampered by low income and lack of medicalinsurance. Racial or ethnic background also play an important role,where children from Spanish speaking household had difficultiesaccessing healthcare services (LA Health, 2005).
Afteridentifying the disparities in the provision of health care servicesto special health care needs children, the next step is implementingsystems that will increase the health outcome by mending the gaps. Inthe report, it is recommended that special health care needs childrenshould have an access to medical home with a designated health careprovider who works closely with the parents. This will ensure thatthe special needs of the children are addressed effectively.Additionally, programs that ensure that early detection of specialhealth care needs in children are necessary. For example, earlydetection of chronic conditions such as asthma in children increasesthe effectiveness of management programs, enhances health outcomesand reduces morbidity. Although evaluation of the effectiveness ofthe program is critical, there are several limitations in thedetermination of the quality of health care services received byspecial need children. However, the development of valid and reliableindicators to enable monitoring and evaluation of the interventionsshould be given the highest priority (LA Health, 2005).
Thereare several models that can be used in the health assessment needsamong children with special needs, or any other community. The choiceof the model used in the assessment should be influenced by amongother factors the appropriateness of the model. In the program, anappropriate assessment model would have been PRECEDE- PRECEED model.The advantages of using this model are based on the fact that it hasall the three basic components of a health program planning process.This includes comprehensive structures that are necessary for theassessment of health care needs for the selected group. This iscritical in the identification of goals and visions of the healthcare program. Model also has structures for implementing andundertaking the strategic planning. Also, the model enablescomprehensive evaluation of the program. PRECEDE is the acronym for“predisposing, reinforcing and enabling constructs in educationaldiagnosis and evaluation. This is critical in the analysis andplanning of health care programs. This includes the social assessmentto determine the social needs and problems in the selected community,epidemiological assessment to identify health care servicesdeterminants and priorities, ecological assessment to analyze theenvironmental determinants, predisposition and reinforcements,identification of policies and administrative factors andimplementation of the strategic planning (Ransdell, 2010).
PROCEEDis the acronym for “policy, regulation, and organizationalconstructs in education and environmental development”. This iscritical in the implementation and evaluation of the health careprogram. It includes the implementation of the program throughdesigning the interventions and assessing available resources forimplementation, evaluation of the processes to determine whether theprogram has reached the targeted community, and the evaluation of theimpacts and outcome of the programs to identify its influence of thenumber of incidences or prevalence (Ransdell, 2010). The results ofthe program can be used to develop, plan and implement publicpolicies. For example, if a program to enhance health outcomes amongchildren with special needs children in Los Angeles County iseffectively, it can be used as the basis of future public healthpolicies with similar goals or targeting similar populations.
LAHealth (2015). Childrenwith special health care needs,county of Los Angeles, Department of Health Services. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/ha/reports/habriefs/Special%20Children%20FINAL_1.pdf
Phillips,J., Rolley, J. & Davidson, P. (2012). “Developing TargetedHealth Service Interventions Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED Model: TwoAustralian Case Studies”, NursingResearch and Practice,Article ID 279431
Ransdell,L.B. (2001). “Using the PRECEDE-PROCEED Model to IncreaseProductivity in Health Education Faculty”. TheInternational Electronic Journal of Health Education,4: 276–282.