Population health and population health management are certainly buzzwords right now in the healthcare industry. There are, in fact, numerous blogs dedicated to the topic of population health. Population health is about treating a population of people in the most effective and cost-efficient way. When one refers to population health, the actual population of people they’re talking about can vary widely. It could be as small as a neighborhood of people ranging up to a whole country, or people from one socioeconomic class to another, people of a certain age, anything!
Population health is an especially hot topic right now because of the new digitization of the industry that is currently happening with technology like electronic health records (EHR) and readmissions reduction programs. While companies are trying to get on board with digital health and technology within their healthcare organizations, they also want to become more efficient, drive costs down and serve their clientele better. Therefore, even though the origin of the term population health didn’t originate to describe this technology area in healthcare, it fits in with it perfectly where the industry is and where it is going.
Healthcare organizations are undergoing this technology advance in their industry to be more efficient, and to improve the care and access they are giving to their patients. Maybe they can even use these new tools to not only serve their patients better, but to serve new patients in ways not currently known or available. Upgrading the technology already implemented and incorporating population health management at the same time just makes sense.
There are many ways to go about incorporating population health management into a healthcare practice. It doesn’t necessarily need to be all technical; however, if a hospital is in the process of moving to a more digital practice, why not take this time to change everything at once? Improving both the digital practices and population health management systems at the same time would serve the organization greatly. It wouldn’t be killing two birds with one stone but at least more results would come out of the chaos of incorporating EHRs and new data systems into the company.
Health Catalyst offers more insight into population health management solutions. They explain three systems that are necessary for effective population health management. Does your healthcare organization have these systems in place, or plan to get them in place? Incorporating effective population health management into your practice is as important as incorporating technology into your practice. It will help everyone be more efficient and serve their clients better, while saving costs.