ABOUT

The building blocks of health

Like any other system, health systems can be described in terms of structure and function. At ACCESS Health, we think about health systems as consisting of five key elements: governance, payers, providers, the community, and digital health.
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Governance is more than policymaking.

POLICY, REGULATION, MONITORING & EVALUATION

Governance in a health system also includes regulation and monitoring and evaluation. Health systems are highly complex. While policymaking arguably has the greatest impact on the whole system, regulation and monitoring and evaluation are also integral parts of governance. Regulation is essential for drawing boundaries among the various components within the healthcare system. A well regulated system is efficient and effective, making the most use of healthcare resources. A robust performance assessment system to monitor how effectively all parts of the system are working is also critical to ensure the health system is responsive and constantly improving.

Healthcare Payers are key.

FREE PUBLIC SERVICES, PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE, PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE, EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE, OUT OF POCKET

How finance for health is generated, how it is prioritized, how it is allocated, and how it is utilized is a key element of governance, but it overlaps with the payer component of a health system. The payer consists of services offered for free in public facilities, services covered by public health insurance, private health insurance, and employee health insurance, and out of pocket payments. Globally, health systems are moving toward models that make healthcare spending more equitable and effective and toward the ultimate goal of making quality healthcare accessible and affordable for all.
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The provider system is arguably the most complex component of a health system.

RESOURCES FOR HEALTH (HUMAN, MATERIAL, AND TECHNOLOGY), QUALITY SYSTEMS, MODELS OF CARE

On the one hand, the provider component can be considered in terms of the type of provider or where care is provided, such as hospital based care or community based care, formal providers or informal providers. But human and materials resources for health are also part of the provider system. This includes issues related to the healthcare workforce, medical education and training systems, and the availability of drugs, diagnostic equipment, and medical devices.

The provider system is arguably the most complex component of a health system.

DIGITAL HEALTH

Digital health connects all the building blocks of the health system and has the potential to transform healthcare systems in ways that were inconceivable in the past. The flow of information within and across the healthcare system is vital to efficient and effective health systems. Digital health includes issues related to data standards, data storage, data privacy, data use and the availability and use of new digital health technology. Digital health is the glue that holds successful health systems together.
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The community is at the center of all health systems.

COMMUNITY, FAMILY, PERSON

The people and families that make use of healthcare services – the community – are at the center of all health systems. In a well functioning health system, community members are able to access care whenever they need it and wherever they need it, whether care is provided in person or remotely by providers. As the burden of disease shifts toward chronic and lifelong diseases, there is a need to develop new models of care that meet the needs of people in whichever community they live.