Week 3 Senior Discussion Essay

Week 3 Senior Discussion Essay

Week 3 Senior Discussion Essay

In her Ted Talk, Rebecca Onie (2018) observes that improving healthcare requires the adoption of an upstream model where providers ask their patients things that can be done to improve their health at primary level as opposed to giving them different types of medications. Onie observes that asthma exacerbations, infections, and other medical symptoms patients present in physician and care provider’s offices do not require medications but primary interventions like quality affordable housing, food resources, and health information (Naik et al., 2019). The implication is that providers need to develop policies and procedures at institutional level to support a holistic approach to wellness and meeting the patients’ needs.


As observed by Onie (2018), providers can design and implement policies like increased patient engagement where they ask about their living conditions, if they have access to food, and better housing. A core policy at the institutional level to support holistic wellness is to focus on primary health care where an organization develops a framework that allows providers to engage patients about the possible cause of their problems and address them. The upstream approach and policy in an organization is a fundamental aspect of attaining patient needs through a holistic approach. Using this model, healthcare executives can mandate their employees and providers to ask patients questions about their physical, psychological, and emotional needs about their health (Enard & Hauptman, 2019). Secondly, having partnerships with community networks and other critical organizations to help patients navigate ways to access resources is an essential policy. Such a policy provides linkages and interactions that enable patients with diverse needs to seek resources from other areas to meet their physical needs like affordable housing, access to food, transportation, and better living environment like having recreational facilities like parks and access to gyms.


Enard, K. R., & Hauptman, P. J. (2019). Heart failure, shared decision-making, and social

determinants of health: an upstream perspective. JAMA cardiology, 4(7), 609-610.

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Naik, Y., Baker, P., Ismail, S. A., Tillmann, T., Bash, K., Quantz, D., … & Bambra, C. (2019).

Going upstream–an umbrella review of the macroeconomic determinants of health and health inequalities. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-19.


Onie, R. (2018). What Americans Agree on When it Comes to Health.


First watch:

Rebecca Onie: What Americans agree on when it comes to health | TED Talk

Then answer:

Rebecca Onie touches on a valuable topic, healthcare policy.  When creating programs, policies, and procedures sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the mundane and required “day to day” items that need to be checked off a list and forget the items that may provide answers.  For instance, Onie speaks of the patient in Baltimore that countless providers had forgotten to ask if he was hungry- he hadn’t eaten in weeks and was relieved someone finally asked.

What patients don’t say is often as important as what they do.  As a health administrator, what are policies and procedures you can put into place that support a holistic approach to wellness and meeting the patients’ needs?


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