Healthcare organizations have access to an incredible amount of data today, and with this data, comes great opportunity. As the healthcare industry continues its quest to consistently improve care and ensure the management of that care is effective and efficient, it’s more important than ever for organizations to find meaningful ways to use this data to improve the health of the people within their communities.
Given the overwhelming amount of data available, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. To start making sense of the data, adopting a strategy focused on population health management is critical.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies four key determinants of a population’s health: genetics, medical care, lifestyle and health behaviors, as well as physical and social environment. Healthcare providers are better skilled to identify at-risk populations when they understand the unique make-up of these factors in their community. The goal is timelier and personalized clinical interventions that can reduce costs and improve care.
A smart population health initiative should include these three prongs:
1. Visualization dashboards so healthcare providers can view a wide range of socioeconomic data at the zip-code level, and offer easily digestible data and actionable recommendations.
2. Databases of evidence-based programs and policies already shown to improve a community’s health.
3. Evaluations and analysis to help clients understand the impact of their population health management efforts.
At the recent Midas+ Annual Symposium, 35 C-level healthcare executives were asked about their perspective on population health management. The group represented over 80,000 beds from more than 480 hospitals. Respondents indicated that they were optimistic about the progress their organizations can make, despite a number of challenges.