Access and Utilization: Ways to Improve Health Care Utilization

In order to improve the health system to better serve the needs of Vietnamese people especially Vietnamese older adults, successful programs include the following characteristics:

  • use of cultural lay health workers/interpreters, peer health educators,
  • family/community interventions to bridge language and cultural gaps,
  • decrease of cultural health barriers such as fear of surgery and preference of female patients for female physicians to conduct health examination with similar preferences for males or improvement of health knowledge for chronic disease conditions and preventive health strategies by ethnic specific videos or health fairs,
  • use of after hours access, community based and “one stop” integrated services (e.g., medical, mental health, social services),
  • decrease of financial and medical coverage barriers and logistical barriers such as transportation,
  • significant improvements in health education targeted at Vietnamese consumers

(Cory, 1995; Free, White, Shipman & Dale, 1999; Lesjak, Hua & Ward, 1999; Mahlock, et al., 1999; Nelson, Bui & Samet, 1997; Pham, Rosenthal & Diamond, 1999; Siganga & Huynh, 1997; Stuer, 1998).