15 -2 Evaluating the quality of medical care in Israel
Evaluating the quality of medical care in Israel for individuals with intellectual disability – A pilot study
Stern Hana, GodeshNehama, GutmanAvia, Lotan Meir
Background: Individuals with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) present morbidity and mortality rates higher than those found in the general population. Therefore, they need accessible, high quality, effective and knowledgeable medical care.
Aim: To evaluate the quality of medical care for individuals with IDD living in Israel; pinpoint areas where medical care for this population is deficient; rank the various deficiencies by the degree to which they are detrimental to good health care for individuals with IDD, and suggest changes to help overcome these deficiencies.
Procedure: Open-ended interviews were conducted with 5 nurses who work with individuals with IDD for extended periods. Interviewees were asked to describe, based on their experience, cases that suggested deficiencies in the quality of medical care available to individuals with IDD in Israel and to rank these deficiencies in terms of their detrimental impact. They were also asked to suggest ways to improve on the present state of medical services available to patients with IDD.
Results: Some of the findings regarding deficiencies in medical services for patients with IDD in Israel were similar to findings from across the globe. These included difficulty communicating with this patient population, lack of professional knowledge among the medical staff regarding IDD, and service providers' negative attitudes towards individuals with IDD. Yet other issues were unique to Israel, among them, miscommunication between the medical system's healthcare staff and the medical teams in the residential facilities for individuals with IDD, and inflicting harm on patients with IDD, by failing to abide by the law.
Conclusion: Interviewees' responses indicated severe mismanagement in the healthcare of individuals with IDD by the Israeli medical system. These results underscore the need for immediate and intensive actions to resolve the present situation.
Key words: medical care, individuals with intellectual and developmental disability, IDD, quality of care