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From The CriticsReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, MSN, BSN (Northeastern University Bouve College of Health Sciences)
Description: A quick overview of policy and law begins this book, followed by discussions of hot topics in health and law that are influencing policy, and ending with a demonstration of policy analysis.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the broad context of American health policy and the law while acknowledging the influencing factors impacting policy. The overarching aims are to engage readers or students in policy discussions, research, and analysis.
Audience: This book is appropriate for students across disciplines, practitioners, and anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of policy and law issues related to health policy. Although the authors target interdisciplinary students, the audience is broader.
Features: Topics covered range from a description of policy, to policy and the law and the policy making process and its relationship to the legal system. The second part of the book discusses influencing factors such as economics, government, increasing problems of underinsured and uninsured people, individual rights and the impact on public health, and ending with an overview of quality care. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) core competencies are addressed in terms of patient safety, quality improvement, and the impact on medical errors. The final section that leads students through the process of policy analysis is exceptionally well done.
Assessment: This book is well written and easy to read and use to understand a difficult subject. Boxed discussion questions throughout help guide students to synthesize important points. The final chapter takes novices through the steps of how to write a policy analysis, thereby teaching the art of analyzing policy, a very effective teaching/learning strategy. There are many books that discuss policy and law, but most address, for example, ethics and policy or a specialty law area such as reproduction or mental health and policy. This book is a broad brush of health policy and laws that impact policy creation or implementation. It is part of a series on Essential Public Health that offers more in-depth discussions in a particular area, such as global health.