Tracking Patient Outcomes. The Affordable Care Act created the National Prevention Council, which developed the National Prevention Strategy (NPS). In 2011, the National Prevention Council released the National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness, a comprehensive plan that sets forth evidence-based and achievable means for improving health for all Americans at every stage of life. These efforts are designed to stop disease before it starts and to create strategies for a healthy and fit nation, recognizing that prevention must be part of daily life. The NPS guides the nation in identifying the most effective and achievable means for improving health and well-being. It prioritizes prevention by integrating recommendations and actions across multiple settings to improve health and save lives. Because many of the strongest predictors of health and well-being fall outside the health care setting, the strategy envisions a prevention-oriented society where all sectors recognize the value of health for individuals, families, and society and work together to achieve better health for all Americans. The National Prevention Strategy identifies four strategic directions—the foundation for all prevention efforts—and seven targeted priorities designed to improve health and wellness for all Americans (National Prevention Council, 2014). The goal of the NPS is to transform us from a system of sick care to one based on wellness and prevention.
With the rapid evolution of technology in health care, it is important to be knowledgeable about current healthcare information. Resources such as the NPS, Healthy People 2020, and the USPSTF recommendations are essential tools to help clinicians keep up to date with current best practices. All of these initiatives have Web sites that provide updates to the current printed reports. The NPS encourages partnerships among federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; business, industry, and other private sector partners; philanthropic organizations; community and faith-based organizations; and everyday Americans to improve health through prevention. Initiatives such as Healthy People 2020 and the USPSTF recommendations are excellent examples of well-researched tools that can help to enhance health promotion and disease prevention. The end result will be comprehensive care to patients with the goal of optimal health for all.
The Healthy People 2020 initiatives continue to have a significant impact on primary health care in the United States. The incorporation of health-promoting and disease prevention strategies has become the foundation for primary care. It is believed that all of the goals of Healthy People 2020 are achievable with support from individual healthcare providers, local and national government agencies, and, most important, the active participation of individual patients.