American Health Care System

The fact that illness prevention receives little attention in the American health care system is one issue.

Even though the nation spends over $2 trillion annually on healthcare, tens of millions of Americans still experience everyday suffering from chronic diseases and illnesses that could be avoided. (Boulware, et al., 2016).

In response to the effects of underutilized health promotion and neglected disease prevention, businesses and governments spend more than 96% of healthcare expenses. (Boulware, et al., 2016).

Doctors, nurses, and other medical workers are part of the issue. This shows that illness prevention receives little attention in the American health care system. As such, in circumstances of a disease outbreak such as Ebola, the government should implement special measures to prioritize the prevention of the disease. In this context, this paper proposes that there should be mandatory testing of all travelers from Ebola outbreak areas to stop the spread of the disease.

The American Health Care System

The problem is that the American health care system gives low priority to disease prevention. The health care system focuses on caring for people after they have become harmed or sick. There are various factors in the health care system that contribute to the problem. One of the major factors is the response that the health professionals give to patients. The problem is that these nurses, dentists, and doctors are mainly trained to treat the sick. Little emphasis is put on prevention of diseases or promotion of health. As such, these health professionals are trained to understand that treating those who are ill should be given a higher priority over preventing the disease. This is evidenced from the increased demand for curative care in America (Zimlichman, et al., 2013).

Health professionals are not the only ones to blame for the problem because the media and public interest also play a role in prioritizing cure over prevention.

The public often acts irrationally on health care matters (Berwick, et al., 2008) Most people favor today's immediate pleasures and neglect acting on their long-term interests. The media and the public interest often focus on the needs of the single person suffering (Zimlichman, et al., 2013). For instance, a seriously ill child or a single sailor lost at sea fascinates the public more than headlines on an epidemic averted.

The Proposal

The best solution to this problem is implementing special strategies that will stop or prevent the spread of diseases in America. For instance, in the case of Ebola outbreak in other countries, there should be mandatory testing of all travelers from Ebola outbreak areas to stop or slow the spread of the disease.

This proposal has various good points and merits.

First, prioritizing prevention measures sets the stage for long-term positive health outcomes. The audience of this proposal is the American population. When health care systems emphasize on preventing diseases, they create an environment where Americans live in safer environments and lead healthier lives. Neglecting disease prevention and health promotion cuts on people's lives. In a country where the health care systems do not pay necessary attention to disease prevention, those who live longer suffer a reduced quality of life. One of the major objections to this proposal is that it requires commitment and huge financial and human investments that do not yield immediate results.

Effectiveness of the Proposal

Based on the root cause analysis, the proposal is the most effective in solving the problem. The root cause analysis is an important tool in solving problems. The analysis seeks to identify why the problem occurred in the first place. It identifies the origin of the problem using specific steps and associated tools to discover the primary cause of the problem. Using this analysis, the root cause of the problem is the American health care system's neglect of prevention measures. Given that most American health care systems and personnel are not effectively designed or trained to prevent diseases, a single case of Ebola in America could lead into an epidemic disease. As such, the best solution is ensuring mandatory testing of all travelers from Ebola outbreak areas.

The Analysis

The root cause analysis identifies the primary cause of the problem as the culture of the American health care system to neglect prevention measures for diseases. A significant portion of the health systems' resources is directed towards the treatment of the harmed or sick patients. This leaves less concentration on the measures that can be taken to prevent the diseases.

The analysis also identifies that the health professionals, media, and the public also contribute to propagating the problem. The training offered to the health professionals is rarely evidence-based, which limits their ability to understand the significance of paying more attention to disease prevention measures. The media and the public are also moved by the desire to solve immediate problems rather that laying plans towards preventing potential future health consequences. As such, the best solution to this problem is putting strategies that prevent the outbreak or spread of diseases. The benefits of this proposal outweigh the objections raised against it.


The American health care system places significant emphasis on disease treatment at the expense of disease prevention. This has caused a problem in the health care sphere. A possible solution to this problem is laying special strategies that prevent the spread of diseases. For instance, in the case of Ebola outbreak, the government should ensure compulsory testing for all travelers from the Ebola outbreak countries. Critics argue that such measures are expensive and bear other economic and diplomatic consequences. However, the benefits of prevention outweigh the negative consequences. As such, the solution to the problem should begin with stopping the disease before it occurs.


Berwick, D. M., Nolan, T. W., & Whittington, J. (2008). The triple aim: care, health, and cost. Health affairs, 27(3), 759-769.

Boulware, L. E., Cooper, L. A., Ratner, L. E., LaVeist, T. A., & Powe, N. R. (2016). Race and trust in the health care system. Public health reports.

Zimlichman, E., Henderson, D., Tamir, O., Franz, C., Song, P., Yamin, C. K., ... & Bates, D. W. (2013). Health care–associated infections: a meta-analysis of costs and financial impact on the US health care system. JAMA internal medicine, 173(22), 2039-2046.

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