Video Spotlight

"'I'm a Health Worker' - Abduaraman Gidi" made by IntraHealth International.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is responsible for the provision of healthcare to enrolled members of federally recognized Tribes either directly or through partnership with Tribal and Urban programs. It is a shared goal of all partners in the Indian health system to ensure universal access to high quality health care for American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people.

The IHS has four priorities aimed at system transformation; these priorities were established to meet current and future challenges of providing quality health care services for AI/ANs:

(1) To renew and strengthen our partnership with Tribes;
(2) To bring reform to the IHS;
(3) To improve the quality of and access to care;
(4) To make all our work accountable, transparent, fair and inclusive.

In keeping with these priorities, the Improving Patient Care (IPC) Program is an initiative to transform the Indian health system to a more integrated, well organized and higher performing system of care. A fundamental change from a provider-oriented approach to a patient/family/community-oriented system of care is needed in order to meet the future health care needs of the AI/AN people.

American Indian and Alaska Native people continue to be challenged by the disproportionately high prevalence of chronic conditions impacting AI/AN communities. While progress has been made on certain clinical measures, health disparities still remain.

As the number of AI/AN people with chronic illness increases, the Indian health system is increasingly challenged to provide evidenced-based optimal clinical outcomes, adequate delivery of preventive care services, and efficient access to care where and when needed. The Indian Health Service system must improve its performance in clinical and service quality in order to effectively prevent and address chronic disease, while also meeting the acute care needs of patients.

Therefore, the Indian health system must change and improve its delivery of care. This improvement can be achieved without costly resources, by predicting and managing patient demand, increasing efficiency in office and clinical practices, and streamlining the flow of patients. 

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