ECN-601: Economics course introduces microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts that are relevant to contemporary business. Emphasis is placed on using economic data for business decision-making.
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What is economics?
Economics is the study of how people allocate rare resources for production, distribution, and consumption, both individually and collectively.
What is health economics?
Health economics is a branch of economics concerned with issues related to efficiency, effectiveness, value, and behavior in the production and consumption of health and healthcare. In other words, health economists can be defined as the study of the functioning of healthcare systems and health-affecting behaviors.
It is essential in determining how to improve health outcomes and lifestyle patterns through interactions between individuals, healthcare providers, and clinical settings.
Types of Economics.
Economics consists of two major disciplines. These disciplines are namely: microeconomics and macroeconomics.
Microeconomics concentrates on how individual consumers, organizations, and firms make decisions. These distinct decision-making units can be a single person, a household, a healthcare organization, or a government agency.
Microeconomics works to analyze certain aspects of human behavior. Additionally, it tries to explain how they respond to changes in price and why they demand what they do at particular price levels. Moreover, microeconomics explains how and why different goods are valued differently and how individuals make financial decisions. Moreover, it also explains how individuals best trade, coordinate and cooperate with one another.
In the healthcare sector, microeconomics involves the dynamics of supply and demand to the efficiency and costs associated with delivering healthcare services. Additionally, it also includes how labor/medical staff is divided and allocated, how a healthcare organization is organized and functions, and how the involved staff/people/management approach uncertainty, risk, and strategic game theory.
Macroeconomics studies a general economy on both a national and international level by using highly aggregated economic data and variables to model the economy. Moreover, it concentrates on a distinct geographical region, a country, a continent, or even the whole world. Its key areas of study are recurrent economic cycles and broad economic growth and development. Macroeconomics includes many topics such as:
- Foreign trade
- Government fiscal and monetary policy
- Unemployment rates
- Level of inflation and interest rates,
- Growth of total production output as reflected by changes in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
- Business cycles result in expansions, booms, recessions, and depressions.
Importance of health economics.
Health economics has numerous benefits in healthcare. These benefits include the following:
Health economics acts as a guidepost. This helps the nurse to make sense of the often convoluted, paradoxical, and invisible yet pervasive ways economics shapes the healthcare organization, financing, and delivery of health care.
Additionally, many of the policy decisions at institutional, state, and federal levels related to economic incentives and how the money flows through the system. Thus, to serve patients and help shape a world in which the holistic, patient-/family-/community-centric vision of the profession of nursing can become a reality, nurses need a confident command of economic terms and ideas and to be able to apply them in the practice setting.
Health economics also enables many of the nurses to take care of people and build relationships which is precisely what drew most nursing students to the nursing profession in the first place. Therefore, economics with its complex mathematical formulas, nuanced theories, and interfaces with systems-level finances shares key interests with the nursing profession. However, it may seem far removed from the working knowledge, concerns, and everyday work life of the nurses.