Tool Kit Analysis of Katrina Health Case
Tool Kit Analysis of Katrina Health Case
Hurricane Katrina exposed the United States governments lack of preparedness for natural disasters. The delayed intervention of the government and the lack of collaboration with other agencies resulted in extensive damage and many losses of lives. This paper utilizes SWOT, force field, and cause and effect tools to analyze the case.
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The federal government has adequate financial resources to develop a reliable health information system that will help keep track of the Katrina victims and also subsidize medical services for all the victims. There is the availability of skilled labor in the country that will be utilized to create the health information system. Furthermore, the major part of the country has access to excellent network coverage that is an essential component of the health information system (Cherry, 2009).
The implementation of all the recommended processes may take a long time. For instance, the information system has to undergo all the stages of lifecycle development which may take a significant amount of time (Kilmer, 2010). Decentralization of healthcare services will entail complete restructuring of the current health system.
The disaster will help the country to take preventive measures for future catastrophes. The overwhelming disapproval of the way the government handled the disaster consequences will ensure that it takes appropriate action to reduce the causalities in future health disasters (Cherry, 2009).
Since the communication structures were either wholly or partially destroyed, all activities relying on them were at the risk of not being accomplished. Particularly, the development of the health information system relies on communication networks that were destroyed during the storm. Therefore, this alternative for addressing the health case may not be achieved.
Force Field Analysis
The government should balance between preparing for terrorism and preparing for health disasters. After the September 11 attacks, the government has placed emphasis on instigating measures that will prevent future incidences of terrorism. However, it neglected other disasters such as storms and floods. The efforts taken by the government were successful since no other major terrorist attack has occurred in the country. Nevertheless, the preparation for other disasters should be enhanced. This change can be achieved by conducting extensive research on natural disasters and establishing schemes that will help detect them before they occur (Cherry, 2009).
Being still at the risk of terrorism, the government and the people may be unwilling to undertake this change. Since the country has helped other nations fight terrorist groups, it has attracted resentment on the part of these groups. Thus, shifting focus from preparing for terrorist attacks to natural disasters may be met with resistance by both the people and the government. The money required to subsidize medical services for the victims would make the government cut the expenses on other vital departments. As a result, these departments may be unsatisfied since reducing their budget will hinder attaining their objectives (Kilmer, 2010).
The overwhelming disapproval of the government response to the crisis would be a motivation factor to shift the focus from terrorism preparedness to the preparation for natural disasters such as floods and storms. The government has adequate resources to make this change through developing the information system and subsidizing medical services for all the victims of the crisis. Furthermore, the government has the authority to initiate decentralization of medical services in the region (Cherry, 2009).
Cause and Effect Analysis
The health service in the area is centralized. Thus, in case of emergency, numerous people flock to several hospitals at once where they cannot obtain the services on time. Many citizens in the area do not have access to Medicaid and Medicare (Kilmer, 2010). This is because they are low-income earners who do not have enough money to access these services. Currently, no efforts are taken to control natural disasters.
The magnitude of the catastrophe was high since some of the patients had preexisting medical conditions. Therefore, the destruction of the health facilities denied them access to essential services that could help them regain their health condition. Charity Hospital is the main health facility in the region that handles the majority of patients.
There were more males than females reported to have suffered from the crisis. The percentage of men suffering from the crisis was fifty-two whereas the proportion of women affected by the crisis was forty-eight percent. This is mainly because the males resumed to their places of work earlier than the women. Therefore, they were exposed to the environment for longer periods which caused them to acquire various health conditions.
The majority of the victims reported the above symptoms after returning to the affected areas. Asthma, COPD, and smoking were the main medical conditions that were present in the reported cases. These medical conditions attained statistical significance due to the fact that they had a huge impact.
The analysis of the Katrina health case has identified the extreme focus on terrorism activities as the main reason of the governments unpreparedness for the hurricane. The centralization of medical services escalated the causalities since few hospitals were available to cater for many victims. The creation of a health system that would integrate data from all the health facilities would help in tracking patients with preexisting medical conditions, thus, providing them with specialized care. Subsidization of the medical services would require the government to reduce the budget for other departments, a move that will be met by stiff resistance.