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There has been an augmenting need for health care givers to address the community-wide health concerns (Palmer-Wackerly et al., 2014). Developing evidence-grounded health actions allows health care specialists to improve the population health interventions (Kassler, Tomoyasu & Conway, 2015) and their corresponding delivery methods at the community level. Hence, health administrators create such innovations that involve society in order to advance the population health care results (Nash, 2016). The current paper seeks to describe an initiative aimed at preventing and controlling the heart disease, the pilot study that was conducted on the effectiveness of the initiative as well as its evaluation to amend the proposed piloted processes. Furthermore, the paper presents the activities performed by the health care organizations and nongovernmental institutions to address the heart disease initiative.
From a global perspective, the heart disease commonly known as cardiovascular illness is the main cause of deaths placing a growing liability on all the states across the world (Lanas, Serón, & Lanas, 2013). To demonstrate, the statistics for 2014 reporting period showed that 611,105 deaths in the United States and about 25.8% of all the deaths in Baltimore City resulted from the heart diseases (United States Census Bureau, 2016). Overall, whereas more than 370,000 individuals die each year, one American dies from a heart disease-related condition each minute (United States Census Bureau, 2016). As a matter of fact, the risk factors for heart disease comprise high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, and high level of cholesterol (Wenger, 2012). Due to these concerns, the health administrators need to elaborate a community-based intervention initiative which aims at addressing the heart disease issues.
Significantly, renovation of detection (screening enhancement so as to differentiate people with hypertension and diabetes in Baltimore City), prevention (the methods persons are able to apply as precaution to prevent the risk factors of cardiovascular illness) and control (the ways which ill population can use so as to control hypertension and diabetes) are the major objectives of the initiative. The initiative entails collaboration with community organizations and federal sponsored health facilities that will assist in recognizing the patients with high risk as well as referring them to the community established programs and provision of more screening locations to increase the detection of the undiagnosed hypertensive population. Moreover, the initiative offers an educational program for Baltimore residents teaching them how to recognize, track and control the risk factors that affect the heart health, including cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, physical activity, glucose, tobacco usage, and medications.
Pilot studies characterize an important stage of the research procedure (Virmala, 2011). In an effort to prevent the precious money and time from being wasted on a proposed initiative program that can be ineffective, a test experiment had been organized prior to the final research. However, to avoid its influence on the behavior of the study subjects, those who participated in the trial version were not invited to take part in the final research. Markedly, the purpose of conducting a pilot study was to evaluate the design of the final study and thus enabling the adjustments. Consequently, if anything is omitted in the trial study, some additions can be made to the full-scale study to boost the probabilities of obtaining a profound result (Virmala, 2011).
In-depth interviews and focus groups were arranged to make an assessment of the understanding and attitudes of the community and health specialists in Baltimore city regarding the importance of having a healthy lifestyle (proper nutrition and physical exercises) in order to prevent heart disease. Namely, the questions asked in the interviews were the same ones used in designing the questionnaire in order to ensure the consistency and accuracy of the results. The survey incorporated 20 multiple-choice inquiries related to the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, symptoms, and prevention methods. Averagely, the questions encompassed about 8 words lengthwise and there was a section for interviewees recommendations which would increment the upgrading of the poll. Notably, some of the blanks were handed to the subjects while others were sent through e-mails and then collected in 7 days (although the average time taken to fill in the questionnaire was 15 minutes).
Evaluation is a fundamental element of any research. It is performed to ascertain whether the anticipated outcome was obtained and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the research techniques essential for the future decision-making, planning, and reform (Cossette, 2013). Another key point is that evaluation advances the intervention tools and acts as the instruments to assess what succeeds and what fails in the communities in which the health administrators pursue to upsurge the healthy lifestyle selections through the initiative strategies and ecological support. Additionally, an evaluation procedures embodied in the community will enhance the sustainability and long life among the population.
Nevertheless, the evaluation is a really continuous process aimed at analyzing the efficiency of the methodology. To clarify, it initially concentrates on the methods and only then focus on the results. The process of evaluation ensures that methods are applied as specified in the initiative strategy and the consequences, it their turn, try to identify the correspondence between the performance and objectives of the study and are designed to assess the long-term impact of the initiative considering the illness and death rates related to cardiovascular disease. Important to realize is that the evaluation process uses a Six Sigma tool which helps to estimate the number of defects present in the procedure as well as facilitates the systematic discovery of the ways to remove them and attain the state as close to the "zero defects" as possible (precisely, it implies 99.9997% success or a failure degree of 3.4 shares in every million) (Coskun, Unsal, Serteser & Inal, 2011).
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The American Heart Association has offered the accessibility of the patients to the heart health management implements such as the Heart Attack Risk Calculator. Besides, it has persistently supported monitoring the development of realizing the initiative's objectives. In addition, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has arranged the chains of webinars that suggest the best practices and offer a technical support from the state relating to the chronic illness management, health officials and heart ailment prevention leaders in order to achieve the initiative’s goals. Health districts, hospitals, healthcare givers and pharmacists have been very supportive in helping to overcome the challenge of blood pressure screening highlighting the significance of regulating hypertension in order to prevent heart disease in Baltimore city.
Another organization that collaborated with the initiative is the Women’s Heart Foundation. Actually, it sustains the systems through a network of peer counselors using the educational supplies established by the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association informing women about the heart disease. To control tobacco smoking, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have designed education, outreach and cessation provisions in accordance with the initiative’s goal, as tobacco smoking is the most preventable risk factor. To explain, the organization provides a counseling service for the residents to help them to abandon any form of tobacco addiction.
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) has taken actions of advocating strategies and programs to encourage a healthy diet and physical exercises, reduce the diseases, early deaths, incapacities and costs resulting from heart disease. Similarly, NANA has supported the initiative’s education and promotion strategies, established a sufficient funding, sponsored strategy and ecological alterations that enable the individuals to eat healthier and exercise regularly. It also advocated for improvement of the nutritional quality of the school food which led to the appearance of the productive idea of endorsing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a revolutionary move to advance the diet programs for children (National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, 2014). In fact, the legislation consists of a provision to remove unhealthy diets and drinks from the schools and offers a better access to the healthy food to over 31 million children. As a result of NANA organization’s efforts, a subsidy for Section of Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Exercise (in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has augmented.
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In conclusion, it is relevant to say that statistics clearly demonstrates that heart disease is the most threatening illness in the most countries worldwide. Risk factors of cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, tobacco smoking, obesity and high cholesterols level need to be controlled in order to overcome the heart disease. Thereupon, heath care administrators designed an initiative to prevent and control it. Certainly, a pilot study, conducted prior to the full-scale study, helped to save money and time being wasted on an ineffective initiative program. To define if the anticipated result was obtained and to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the research methods for future decision-making, planning and reform, an evaluation of the pilot study was conducted. It goes without saying that various organizations collaborate with the initiative to achieve its objectives.