One of the key roles of an advanced practice nurse is to leverage information technology to identify vulnerable populations. By analyzing data, understanding its implications, and applying it to a particular population, you can make better clinical decisions on how to address the non-medical factors that lead to poor health outcomes.
Policy change is a pathway for addressing inequities. Communities can remove or revise policies that perpetuate inequities. They can adopt and promote policies that create opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they live or the circumstances they were born into.
Building on last week’s assignment, this week you will select one of the inequities you identified in your county and develop a strategy to address it through policy change.
Identify a health inequity from your Week 5 assignment that you want to target by advocating for a change of policy. (Remember that creating a new policy also falls under policy change). Include the results of your analysis for the inequity you will be addressing. After you understand the underlying causes, you can find a policy solution to address it.
Describe an evidence-based policy solution you believe could address the existing inequity—a policy change that will alter the root cause of the inequity, which would subsequently reduce or eliminate the inequity.
You can refer to the What Works for Health section of the Take Action to Improve Health tab of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps website to find appropriate policy solutions and strategies for policy change.
Other resources that could help you select an appropriate policy solution, as well as strategies for getting the policy enacted, are:
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
· Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
· Virginia Department of Health
· Healthy People
· MAP-IT: A Guide to Using Healthy People 2020 in Your Community (archived content)
· Salud America!
Now that you have chosen the policy solution you want to implement, your next step is coming up with a comprehensive plan to get it passed and implemented.
Making the Case
Before you can start to convince others of the benefits of making the policy change, you will need to define the narrative or message for the change that will effectively convince others to support the policy solution.
Write a 700- to 1,050-word message or narrative that establishes the existence of the health inequity and presents the policy solution as the most logical option to address the inequity. Your message will be critical to your success. It will influence whether you are able to build trust and credibility in the community as well as make a compelling case for addressing the inequity through a change in policy. Support the case for health equity by addressing the following within the message or narrative:
· Relevant data
· Synthesize population health data against relevant benchmarks to establish the existence of the inequity.
· Incorporate data on health inequities to complement your overall message and raise the awareness of key stakeholders. For example, visual and experiential data can provide vivid examples of the real experiences of communities affected by health equities.
· Integrate cost data to reveal the significant financial implications of existing inequities (e.g., unnecessary health care costs, costs associated with premature death among populations experiencing inequities).
· Community context
· Develop a comprehensive picture of the identified health inequity.
· Define who is affected based on characteristics like income, disability status, gender identity, geography, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
· Incorporate other root causes, such as social (e.g., discrimination), economic (e.g., poverty), and physical (e.g., availability of healthy food retail) environments that influence the health inequity.
· Include the community’s history and context (e.g., long-standing policies, cultural norms, values) that can help explain the inequity.
· Define the extent and severity of the inequity to elevate the level of urgency for addressing it immediately.
· Policy context
· Provide rationale for the policy change.
· Show the connection between the existing policy (or lack thereof) and the health inequity, focusing on how the policy or lack of policy is a root cause.
· Present evidence as to why the policy change will have a positive impact on the affected population and reduce or eliminate the inequity.
Next, you will create a policy brief in which you synthesize the information above into a 1-page policy brief.
Review the resources under Assessment Resources for guidelines on creating a policy brief. The target audience for your policy brief will be those people who are in a position to make the policy change. For your policy brief:
· Do not exceed 1 page (printed on both sides) so no more than 700 words in total.
· Include the following sections:
· Executive summary
· Main text
· Use this format for this section: Problem– Causes – Effects – Solution
· Explain the causes of the disparity and its effects, your research and findings, and propose a solution.
· Policy recommendations
· Policy implications
· Use 1 graphic (such as a table, chart, etc.) depicting data applicable to your selected inequity. (Make sure to cite and reference images and charts.)
· Cite a minimum of 4 references following APA guidelines.
· Create a QR code for others to access the reference page.
· You may include:
· Images appropriate to the subject matter
· Appendices that contain additional information and data to support your position
· These would also best be made available through a QR code.
· Side bars
Submit your assessment.
· Review the rubric for guidance on deliverable expectations.
· Writing Policy Briefs provides you with guidance for writing your policy brief.
· How to Write a Policy Brief breaks down what goes into a brief and includes many examples of what one is supposed to look like.