“So, what is population health, anyway?” is a question I hear often—and the answers that follow really run the gamut. There is already a wide range of interpretations of what population health really means, and how it plays out in the real world.
My own take is that population health is all about managing the health of a population: that is, considering various outcomes (and the factors that determine those outcomes) and looking at the distribution of health among different groups. From a practical standpoint, this means that healthcare providers should be more proactive in managing their patients’ chronic conditions, learning from other patients with similar diagnoses, and heading off complications that commonly occur. It also means developing relationships with patients and including them as a member of their own care team.
Population Health Strategies
If this sounds intriguing but you want more specifics, here are a few of my favorite examples of how population health is changing the way many healthcare organizations are doing business—and improving patient’s health and outcomes in the process:
An Idea That's Here to Stay
Regardless of exactly how you define population health, we can all agree that as the healthcare field continues to evolve over the next few years, these—and many other—population health strategies will provide a seamless way to address value, quality, and outcome goals, while improving the patient experience in new and exciting ways.