FPX 4000 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Paper

FPX 4000 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Paper

FPX 4000 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Paper

FPX 4000 Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue Sample

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Analyzing a Current Health Care Problem or Issue

The identified healthcare issue is Healthcare disparities. Healthcare disparities are the dissimilarities in health and health care between groups resulting from wider inequities. They occur across a range of geographic, financial, and socio-cultural challenges, limiting individuals from accessing the healthcare services they need. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the issue of healthcare disparities and describe my proposed solution and potential ethical implications.


Elements of the Problem/Issue

According to Healthy People 2030, a health disparity is a specific type of health difference attributed to economic, social, and environmental disadvantage. The health disparity negatively impacts groups of people who have systematically encountered greater barriers to health (Artiga et al., 2020). A wide array of factors within and outside the healthcare system contributes to healthcare disparities. Studies establish that health behaviors and soci0-economic factors, usually referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), are the key drivers of health outcomes. Besides, socio-economic factors influence people’s health behaviors. SDOH linked with health inequities and disparities includes poverty, lack of education, unequal access to health care, stigma, and racism (Fleary & Ettienne, 2019). Factors like racism adversely impact peoples’ physical and mental health directly and indirectly by bringing inequities across the SDOH.


Healthcare disparities are persistent and prevalent not only in the U.S. but also globally. The Heckler Report in 1985 led to a major recognition of healthcare disparities in the US after it documented the persistent health disparities in the country that resulted in over 60,000 deaths annually (Artiga et al., 2020). Even with the recognition and documentation of healthcare disparities for decades, numerous disparities have persisted, and, even broadened over time. My interest in this topic is from my experience of how healthcare disparities contribute to poor health outcomes. In my professional experience, I have observed how SDOH and health disparities greatly affect individuals’ health. Therefore, there is a need to address the disparities by negating their impacts or eliminating them.

Healthcare disparities in the U.S. are experienced more commonly by persons from racial/ethnic minority groups, sexual minority groups, persons with low education, uninsured, and those with low income. Häfliger et al. (2023) found that people with low education and knowledge experienced communication inequalities that led to healthcare disparities. In addition, Okunrintemi et al. (2019) established that lower income is consistently associated with poor healthcare experiences by patients. Lower income-earning persons have poorer healthcare experience in all elements of access and quality of care contributing to healthcare disparities. Tabaac et al. (2020) found that sexual minorities encounter healthcare disparities in unmet needs for and continuity of care. Healthcare disparities are encountered by minority racial populations with high uninsurance rates specifically American Indian/Alaska Native, Blacks, Hispanic, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHOPI) compared to Whites.

Considering Options

The primary way to alleviate healthcare disparities and inequities is by addressing SDOH. Options to address healthcare disparities will target SDOH. One option to address healthcare disparities is raising awareness of these disparities among healthcare professionals. Training healthcare providers can significantly help address healthcare inequities and enhance the coordination of resources to populations most affected by health disparities (Artiga et al., 2020). The second option is to increase health literacy among populations affected by healthcare disparities. Gibney et al. (2020) assert that improved health literacy improves behaviors and outcomes and has a more significant impact on people from lower social status. Thus, this contributes to reducing social disparities that affect health outcomes.

The third option is to provide more resources for populations facing healthcare disparities. This includes increasing resources channeled to minority racial/ethnic groups, who are less likely to properly access health resources and are underrepresented in the healthcare workforce. Likewise, rural and low-income communities should be provided with more resources since they have fewer healthcare professionals than urban populations (Fleary & Ettienne, 2019). Failing to address healthcare disparities can lead to consistently poor health outcomes in a nation. Furthermore, it will exacerbate the pre-existing disparities in healthcare access, quality, and costs of medical care for vulnerable populations.


My proposed solution from the above is increasing health literacy among populations affected by healthcare disparities. Coughlin et al. (2020) explain that health literacy is linked with other SDOHs like education, income, and healthcare access that are vital to the success of disease prevention and control interventions aimed to address health disparities. Besides, measures that enhance health literacy empower people and communities to take initiative on social and economic health determinants at an individual and community level. Fleary and Ettienne (2019) assert that improving health literacy can contribute to enhanced use of preventive services, medical adherence, and engagement in health decision-making.  Furthermore, health literacy is a potentially modifiable factor that can alleviate disparities in disease morbidity and mortality.

Ethical Implications

Ethical implications related to increasing health literacy include beneficence, nonmaleficence, and respect for autonomy.  Vulnerable populations will benefit more from health information. Increasing individuals’ health literacy will simultaneously improve health, which aligns with beneficence (Glässel et al., 2022). Limited health literacy adversely influences health outcomes leading to poorer levels of health in affected populations. According to the ethical concern of nonmaleficence, adverse health consequences may arise when issues of health literacy are not considered. This, increasing health literacy will uphold nonmaleficence. Furthermore, low health literacy affects individuals’ ability to understand their healthcare rights and entitlements (Glässel et al., 2022). Thus, improving peoples’ health literacy will increase their autonomy and decision-making capacities.


The proposed solution of increasing health literacy among populations affected by healthcare disparities will require efforts from both state departments of health and healthcare organizations.  They will need to identify the groups mostly affected by healthcare disparities and accordingly design educational and support programs targeting the populations. Interventions to improve health literacy will comprise those that will enhance patient-provider communication and develop skills in the population (Coughlin et al., 2020). Financial resources will be needed to implement the educational programs, especially at the community level. Healthcare providers will also provide education to the affected populations.


Healthcare disparities are preventable conditions related to people’s health status and are based on social factors like income, education, ethnicity, and gender. SDOH contributes to healthcare disparities and contribute to inadequate access to healthcare resources and poor health outcomes. My proposed solution to address healthcare disparities is increasing health literacy among populations affected by healthcare disparities. This can lead to increased use of preventive services, medical adherence, and engagement in health decision-making.


Artiga, S., Orgera, K., & Pham, O. (2020). Disparities in health and health care: Five key questions and answers. Kaiser Family Foundation.Coughlin, S. S., Vernon, M., Hatzigeorgiou, C., & George, V. (2020). Health Literacy, Social Determinants of Health, and Disease Prevention and Control. Journal of environment and health sciences, 6(1), 3061.

Fleary, S. A., & Ettienne, R. (2019). Social Disparities in Health Literacy in the United States. Health literacy research and practice, 3(1), e47–e52. https://doi.org/10.3928/24748307-20190131-01

Gibney, S., Bruton, L., Ryan, C., Doyle, G., & Rowlands, G. (2020). Increasing Health Literacy May Reduce Health Inequalities: Evidence from a National Population Survey in Ireland. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(16), 5891. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165891

Glässel, A., Tyebally Fang, M., Hendriks, M. J., & Biller-Andorno, N. (2022). Using narratives to improve health literacy: an ethical and public health perspective. Narrative ethics in public health: the value of stories, 169-180.

Häfliger, C., Diviani, N., & Rubinelli, S. (2023). Communication inequalities and health disparities among vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic-a scoping review of qualitative and quantitative evidence. BMC Public Health, 23(1), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-15295-6

Okunrintemi, V., Khera, R., Spatz, E. S., Salami, J. A., Valero-Elizondo, J., Warraich, H. J., … & Nasir, K. (2019). Association of income disparities with patient-reported healthcare experience. Journal of general internal medicine, 34, 884-892. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-019-04848-4

Tabaac, A. R., Solazzo, A. L., Gordon, A. R., Austin, S. B., Guss, C., & Charlton, B. M. (2020). Sexual orientation-related disparities in healthcare access in three cohorts of US adults. Preventive medicine, 132, 105999. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.105999


Write a 4-6 page analysis of a current problem or issue in health care, including a proposed solution and possible ethical implications.


In your health care career, you will be confronted with many problems that demand a solution. By using research skills, you can learn what others are doing and saying about similar problems. Then, you can analyze the problem and the people and systems it affects. You can also examine potential solutions and their ramifications. This assessment allows you to practice this approach with a real-world problem.


Note: The requirements outlined below correspond to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. At a minimum, be sure to address each point. In addition, you are encouraged to review the performance-level descriptions for each criterion to see how your work will be assessed.

Describe the health care problem or issue you selected for use in Assessment 2 (from the Assessment Topic Areas media piece) and provide details about it.

Explore your chosen topic. For this, you should use the first four steps of the Socratic Problem-Solving Approach to aid your critical thinking. This approach was introduced in Assessment 2.

Identify possible causes for the problem or issue.

Use scholarly information to describe and explain the health care problem or issue and identify possible causes for it.

Identify at least three scholarly or academic peer-reviewed journal articles about the topic.

You may find the How Do I Find Peer-Reviewed Articles? library guide helpful in locating appropriate references.

You may use articles you found while working on Assessment 2 or you may search the Capella library for other articles.

You may find the applicable Undergraduate Library Research Guide helpful in your search.

Review the Think Critically About Source Quality to help you complete the following:

Assess the credibility of the information sources.

Assess the relevance of the information sources.

Analyze the health care problem or issue.

Describe the setting or context for the problem or issue.

Describe why the problem or issue is important to you.

Identify groups of people affected by the problem or issue.

Provide examples that support your analysis of the problem or issue.

Discuss potential solutions for the health care problem or issue.

Describe what would be required to implement a solution.

Describe potential consequences of ignoring the problem or issue.

Provide the pros and cons for one of the solutions you are proposing.

Explain the ethical principles (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if potential solution was implemented.

Describe what would be necessary to implement the proposed solution.

Explain the ethical principles that need to be considered (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if the potential solution was implemented.

Provide examples from the literature to support the points you are making.

Example Assessment: You may use the following to give you an idea of what a Proficient or higher rating on the scoring guide would look like:

Assessment 4 Example [PDF].

Additional Requirements

Your assessment should also meet the following requirements:

Length: 4–6 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page and reference page.

Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

APA tutorial: Use the APA Style Paper Tutorial [DOCX] for guidance.

Written communication: Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

Using outside sources: Integrate information from outside sources into academic writing by appropriately quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing, following APA style.

References: Integrate information from outside sources to include at least three scholarly or academic peer-reviewed journal articles and three in-text citations within the paper.

APA format: Follow current APA guidelines for in-text citations of outside sources in the body of your paper and also on the reference page.

Organize your paper using the following structure and headings:

Title page. A separate page.

Introduction. A brief one-paragraph statement about the purpose of the paper.

Elements of the problem/issue. Identify the elements of the problem or issue or question.

Analysis. Analyze, define, and frame the problem or issue.

Considering options. Consider solutions, responses, or answers.

Solution. Choose a solution, response, or answer.

Ethical implications. Ethical implications of implementing the solution.

Implementation. Implementation of the potential solution.

Conclusion. One paragraph.

Competencies Measured:

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:

Competency 1: Apply information literacy and library research skills to obtain scholarly information in the field of health care.

Use scholarly information to describe and explain a health care problem or issue and identify possible causes for it.

Competency 2: Apply scholarly information through critical thinking to solve problems in the field of health care.

Analyze a health care problem or issue by describing the context, explaining why it is important and identifying populations affected by it.

Discuss potential solutions for a health care problem or issue and describe what would be required to implement a solution.

Competency 3: Apply ethical principles and academic standards to the study of health care.

Explain the ethical principles (Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice) if potential solution was implemented

Competency 4: Write for a specific audience, in appropriate tone and style, in accordance with Capella’s writing standards.

Write clearly and logically, with correct use of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and mechanics.

Write following APA style for in-text citations, quotes, and references.

Topic 2:

Healthcare Disparities

Short Description:

In 2010, the Federal Department of Human and Health Service (DHHS) launched the Healthy People 2020 goals to include a goal to eliminate health inequality/disparity. Healthy People 2020 defines a health disparity as “a particular type of health difference that is closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental disadvantage. Health disparities adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater obstacles to health based on their racial or ethnic group; religion; socioeconomic status; gender; age; mental health; cognitive, sensory, or physical disability; sexual orientation or gender identity; geographic location; or other characteristics historically linked to discrimination or exclusion” (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2017, p.1).

Potential Intervention Approaches:

– Federal goals

– Community health improvement plans

– Patient advocacy efforts

– “Triple Aim” for populations

Keywords for Articles:

health disparities, community health assessment, community health improvement plan, strategic planning, local health departments, health inequities


Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2017). Disparities. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/about/foundation-health-measures/disparities

Shah G.H., & Sheahan J.P. (2016). Local health departments’ activities to address health disparities and inequities: Are we moving in the right direction? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2016; 13(1):44. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/13/1/44

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2017). Triple Aim for Populations. https://www.ihi.org/Topics/TripleAim/Pages/Overview.aspx

Socratic Problem-Solving Approach

The Socratic Method is a teaching style in which teachers ask students questions designed to stimulate more complete thinking and deeper insight. It also relates to the steps of performing scientific research. When the Socratic approach is applied, students are prompted to look more closely at your ideas, question your assumptions and accepted premises, and view your choices through a rigorous lens.

Apply the Socratic approach

Applying the Socratic approach to problem solving helps you identify gaps and improve your thinking when writing papers or completing projects. The questions may be used to spark new insights when responding to discussion topics and posts.

Identify the elements of the problem, issue, or question

Analyze, define, and frame the problem, issue, or question

Consider solutions, responses, or answers

Choose a solution, response, or answer

Implement your choice

Evaluate the results

Socratic problem-solving references

Paul, R., & Elder., L. (2006) The miniature guide to critical thinking concepts & tools (4th ed.). Dillon Beach, CA: The Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Wertheim, E. G. (n.d.). A model for case analysis and problem solving. College of Business Administration, Northeastern University. Retrieved August 7, 2007, from http://web.cba.neu.edu/ewertheim/introd/cases.htm (Material no longer available at this link.)

*Source: Dictionary.com

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