Standards of Measure and Access

Published 13 Jan 2017

An easy and a quality access to health care delivery system are very important to a country specifically in the United States. These will save time, effort, energy and money. Quality has four components. These are composed of the following, effectiveness, patient safety, timeliness, and patient centeredness. On the other hand, access has also four components; these are composed of entry into the health care system, structural barriers within the system, ability of provider to address patient needs, and utilization of care (“National Healthcare Disparities Report “, 2003).

In the United States, one of the significant barriers for the people in accessing an easy and quality health care delivery is the distance of a health care facilities and the health care provider as well. Most of the people in the United States who encountered problems in acquiring an easy and quality access to health care services are the people living in the rural areas. This is due to the fact that most health care providers are living in urban areas where affluent families reside. Health care providers usually chose to reside in an urban area because most of the people living there are affluent families that can afford even very expensive health care expenses. For these following reasons, there is an obvious inequality in the distribution of providing health care services in the United States. (Bagheri, Benwell, & Holt, 2005)

There are five types of barriers of accessibility in Primary Health Care (PHC). These are composed of the following; availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability, and accommodation. The last three types are known as non-spatial barriers and involve socio-economic factors. The first two types are generally spatial in nature. Availability refers to the existing health care services which the people can choose from different options or alternatives. Accessibility is the distance of the people from their residential place to the health care facilities or to the primary health care providers. Availability and accessibility are considered as “spatial accessibility” and the goal is to determine if Primary Health Care (PHC) services are equally distributed within the community or country based on World Health Organization (WHO) rules and country health policies.

Affordability is the capability of an inpidual to pay for the costs of rendering health care. In this case, the people who belong to affluent families are the ones who can afford to pay even the most expensive health care so that they have an easy access to quality health care compare to the poor people. Acceptability refers to the way an inpidual acknowledge a treatment from a health care provider or vice versa. And lastly, accommodation is the way the patient is being treated by the health care provider during the treatment period. These five factors mentioned above greatly affect the proper rendering of primary health care to an inpidual by health care providers (Guagliardo, 2004).

There are three levels of access measurement. These are the following: inpidual, health plan and delivery system. An inpidual or a patient is the primary recipient of health care provided by the health care providers. A health plan is the amount of money or energy being reserved by an inpidual for the next years in case he will eventually seek for health care. And lastly, the delivery system is the way health care services are being rendered to the inpiduals or patients in the community or country depending on the availability, accessibility, and affordability.

Primary health care services are very important to an inpidual, family, community, and country. It is a way of prolonging the life of an inpidual and preventing the aggravation of one’s illness. Hence, primary health care services should be available, accessible, and affordable to all the people regardless of their societal status. For this reason, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States of America funds programs to improve health by expanding access to comprehensive, quality health care for all Americans.(Gruwell, 2003).


  • Bagheri, N., Benwell, G., & Holt, A. (2005). Measuring spatial accessibility to primary health care [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 27 February from
  • Gruwell, C. (2003). Health Care Delivery Systems. Retrieved February 27, 2007, from
  • Guagliardo, M. F. (2004). Spatial accessibility of primary care: concepts, methods and challenges [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 27 February from
  • National Healthcare Disparities Report (2003, February 27). Retrieved February 24, 2007, from
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