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    How could you use descriptive epidemiological methods in your practice? Provide an example where you could use descriptive epidemiology to improve care. Explain your rationale.


Subject Essay Writing Pages 4 Style APA


Use of Descriptive Epidemiological Methods for Improving Access to Care

            Descriptive epidemiological methods provide approaches for analyzing and organizing data to develop a good understanding of disease variations in terms of geographical frequencies and variations through time. Besides, these methods can inform the manner in which health factors or diseases vary across different populations or special groups based on host factors or characteristics, socioeconomic factors, political, environmental, and other factors (Magnus, (2016). This essay discusses the manner in which descriptive epidemiological methods can be used to inform decision making process on how limited health resources can be distributed in a just and fair manner to improve access to care.

            Descriptive epidemiological methods can be used to improve the welfare of populations through equitable distribution of resources (Magnus, 2016). Equitable distribution of healthcare resources has been a serious challenge for health policy makers and for many healthcare systems. Better distribution of healthcare staff can be challenging to policy makers, researchers, and planners. However, descriptive epidemiological methods can be used for distribution of healthcare staff. For example, epidemiological data can be used to effect distribution of nephrologists and other specialized healthcare professionals (Omrani-Khoo et al., 2013). Descriptive epidemiological data can inform better understanding of healthcare challenges, which will translate into better policies and decisions for equitable investment and allocation of healthcare resources (Khilji et al., 2013).  There are many challenges and conditions in public such as infectious diseases, cancer, barriers to nutrition, environmental exposures, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases, domestic and global public health issues, and promotion of maternal-child health that may affect health and healthcare decisions. The risk factors of these challenges and conditions, as well as the extent of these problems can be better understood through the use of descriptive methods (Magnus, 2016). Data collection following the use of descriptive methods to study population health can then be used to develop decisions that will translate into fair and just distribution of health resources. Health resources in this case may refer to healthcare providers, materials, funds, and facilities.

            Descriptive epidemiological methods can help in identification of risk factors and evaluating effectiveness of health interventions. It can also influence decisions for planning of healthcare resources for to prevent disease and improve health. The ability of resources for interventions can be evaluated and understood with the use of descriptive epidemiological methods to tackle potential health risks and challenges. The goal is to improve access and accessibility of healthcare resources. Besides, healthcare resources are limited and should be distributed based on need (Magnus, 2016). For instance, human influenza infections pose serious public health challenges in Cambodia. A total of 34 cases of human H5N1 infections were confirmed in July 2013 and resulted in 28 deaths. The fatality rate of H5N1 infections in Cambodia is 82%, which comes second to that of Indonesia (83%). In response, Cambodia uses descriptive epidemiological data to develop strategies for mitigating and containing future cases of influenza pandemics. Cambodia uses descriptive epidemiological data in disease distribution mapping at the local level to inform policy decisions and areas that require certain amount of stockpiled resources as well as for reallocation of resources in the event of an epidemic. These strategies include distribution of healthcare resources for proper investment and mobilization for pandemic mitigation (Khilji et al., 2013).

            Cost-effective distribution of healthcare resources can be achieved through the use of descriptive epidemiological data. Real-world challenges can be better understood through application of descriptive methods (Magnus, 2016). The standard guidance for use in allocation of healthcare resource recommends use of various decision rules for mutually exclusive and independent alternatives to promote cost-effectiveness of resource allocation. Cost-analysis can facilitate realization of maximum healthcare outcomes for a given health budget (Dakin & Gray, 2018). These methods can provide data for use in cost-effective analysis of relative costs of care and outcomes for better redistribution or realignment of healthcare resources. Cost-effective analysis can indicate and identify interventions that provide the highest value for money. The method can be used in choosing interventions or practices that can improve access of care and maximize potential attainable health based on available resources (Muenning & Bounthavong, 2016).

            In conclusion, descriptive epidemiological approaches can be used to promote access and availability of care through just, fair and equitable distribution of limited healthcare resources. Healthcare resources can be distributed or allocated based on risks and various healthcare determinants. Besides, epidemiological data can influence decisions for planning healthcare interventions as well as for development of better understanding of the effectiveness of different interventions in different circumstances, populations, and/or regions. In addition, descriptive epidemiological data can be used for carrying cost-effective analysis of allocated healthcare resources in terms of budget or allocated resources and outcome. The primary goal is to improve access and availability of healthcare to all populations and special groups based on different care needs and/or healthcare determinants.






Dakin, H., & Gray, A. (2018). Decisions on interacting interventions. Medical decision making, 38(4), 476-486.

Khilji, S.U.S., Rudge, J.W., Drake, T., Chavez, I, Borin, K., Touch, S., & Coker, R. (2013). Distribution of selected healthcare resources for influenza pandemic response in Cambodia. International Journal for Equity in Health, 12(82). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-9276-12-82

Magnus, M. (2016). Intermediate epidemiology – methods that matter. 5 Wall Street, Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Muenning, P., & Bounthavong, M. (2016). Cost-effectiveness analysis in health: A practical approach (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Omrani-Khoo, H., Lotfi, F., Safari, H., Jame, S.Z.B., Moghri, J., & Shafii, M. (2013). Equity distribution of health care resources; Assessment of need and access, using three practical indicators. Iran J Public Health, 42(11), 1299-1308.











Appendix A:

Communication Plan for an Inpatient Unit to Evaluate the Impact of Transformational Leadership Style Compared to Other Leader Styles such as Bureaucratic and Laissez-Faire Leadership in Nurse Engagement, Retention, and Team Member Satisfaction Over the Course of One Year

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