It is the legal structure and tools that are used to improve, promote and protect the health of people. Because it is the foundation of public health, it serves as authority, support, and guidance for all public health actions.
A wide variety of laws, regulations, policies and procedures govern public health activities at local, state and federal levels. This is the legal infrastructure for public health. This includes laws that cover areas like disease control and food safety as well as emergency preparedness. The laws cover data collection, dissemination, and use of public health information.
Patient outcomes and nurse engagement are directly affected by how the public health legal system works. Nurses will be better equipped to recognize their roles in protecting and maintaining the community’s health if there are shared values. It leads to increased job satisfaction and engagement for nurses which can lead to better patient outcomes.
If there are policies and laws that mandate the reporting of infectious diseases, then nurses will be better equipped to report suspected cases to the public health authorities. This can help to reduce the spread of diseases in the community, and ultimately it will improve the patient’s outcomes.
Conversely, nurses can face difficult ethical decisions if there are differences between an organization’s values and that of the legal infrastructure for public health. This could result in decreased patient engagement as well as potentially adverse outcomes. Nurses may be faced with dilemmas if an organisation doesn’t prioritize reporting disease to the authorities.
Summary: The legal infrastructure of public healthcare plays an important role in shaping nurses’ work in protecting and promoting the health of their communities. Nurses can be more effective in fulfilling their roles and responsibilities when there are alignment between organizational values and the law of public health. This will ultimately result in better patient outcomes.