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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole A. Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Council of International Neonatal Nurses)
Description: This book describes health policy in the context of the current healthcare delivery system.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a reality-based discussion of healthcare delivery as it is viewed by the grassroots — nurses and allied health professionals. The policy and economics that underlie what these professionals see are presented to increase the understanding of the impact these factors have on the system. The overarching hope is to engage professionals in grassroots efforts to improve health outcomes and the system.
Audience: The intended audience is nurses, practitioners, and allied health professionals or students of these professions.
Features: Setting the tone for the rest of the book, the first chapter addresses why this book rather than other policy books. The typical policy issues of access to care and labor force issues — supply and demand for physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals — is followed by the factors impacting healthcare delivery, including financing. The last section addresses the drivers of healthcare, covering technology and quality and including a toolkit. The use of case studies throughout demonstrates application. The policy toolkit is user friendly and is appropriate for readers in a professional organization or in a healthcare delivery setting.
Assessment: There are many policy books, such as Understanding Health Policy: A Clinical Approach, 5th edition, Bodenheimer and Grumbach (McGraw-Hill, 2009), and Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care, 5th edition, Mason et al. (Elsevier, 2007). All of them cover the same topics, but do not present the material in an easy to understand and immediately applicable fashion like this book does. The use of cases that present real-world examples helps bring policy to the grassroots level.