Who is driving #populationhealth

What is population health management anyway? The short answer is, it depends on who you ask. There are many players in the population health space right now and their differing approaches and agendas are driving the confusion.

Why the sudden interest? In the US, healthcare is beginning a gradual change from its current focus on treating a single disease to helping whole people maximize their state of health and well being, and ultimately to helping whole groups of people be their healthiest. To do that we must improve the health status of people across the entire health spectrum, from preventing disease, through early disease detection, to managing the consequences of disease.

To help you understand the many drivers of interest in population health management, I created this diagram.

This diagram isn’t meant to add to your confusion but to explain some of the cause of the confusion. Let’s start on the right side of this slide, and I’ll describe each of the drivers and a little of their role.

So the many different drivers with their different goals is the reason you hear so many different definitions and buzzwords associated with population health management. These represent different pieces of the population health management puzzle. And organizations are choosing to focus on different parts of the puzzle as they approach population health management.

 

If you’d like to learn more about these drivers, you can download a free copy of the chart of Drivers of Interest in Population Health with links to the driver organizations and some of their resources.

TheEvidenceDoc 2016

 

#Wholecare for #PopulationHealth Management

If you are in healthcare, you are aware that population health management is a very popular buzzword right now.  Search for videos on Population Health Management on You Tube and you’ll find 38,000 to watch; search for #populationhealth on Twitter and you’ll have plenty to read.

So the phrase is hot. But what does it mean? Do you know? I share a guest blog on the Primaris website next week that will explain some of the source of confusion.

Why does population health management seem so confusing? The short answer is that there are many drivers of interest with different short term goals.
— TheEvidenceDoc

With different drivers and goals, you will hear different terms and buzzwords - words like:

  • prevention
  • risk prediction
  • risk management
  • disease management
  • care coordination

These buzzwords represent different pieces of the population health management puzzle.

But instead of examining the pieces of population health management, let’s look at the whole. In the US the change in focus to population health will be a gradual change in how we will plan for and deliver care. Some will say this is a radical change.

This change is from our current care focus on treating a single disease to helping whole people maximize their state of health and well being, and to helping whole groups of people to be their healthiest.

This change is from our current care focus on treating a single disease to helping whole people maximize their state of health and well being, and to helping whole groups of people to be their healthiest.

We’ll move from treating the diabetic in room 11, to helping Mrs. Smith be her healthiest, to ultimately improving the health status of all the citizens of Healthy Town, USA or however we define our service reach or population.

This movement will require a new approach in healthcare delivery, because caring for whole patients and whole populations requires whole care.
— TheEvidenceDoc

Whole care is more than just treating one disease at a time. And it’s also more than coordinating care for a patient with multi-morbidities. It’s about providing complete care through the spectrum of health.

In public health, we’ve traditionally divided the stages into:

o   preventing disease before it starts

o   screening to find early signs of disease before the person is aware they have disease as well as prompt diagnosis when symptoms do appear

o   and finally, to provide care that treats as well as manages the complications of disease.

These categories of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention cover the spectrum of care.

Primary prevention has been somewhat neglected in clinical settings. The most common primary prevention activity in clinics is the delivery of immunizations. There are other primary prevention activities people can engage in like exercise and healthy diet, but social actions like education and jobs and sanitation also help people stay well.

Secondary prevention is the early detection of disease to intervene before it has an impact on a person’s life. These activities are often labeled as prevention in the health care system, activities like mammography and colonoscopy. But because they don’t prevent the disease, just find it early, they are technically secondary forms of prevention. Their goal is to find the disease early enough to prevent the pain and suffering of advanced disease and to sometimes offer cure.

Tertiary prevention is where healthcare in the US has focused and excelled. It seeks to delay the progression of disease and manage its consequences.

The whole care of population health management will cover this whole spectrum, keeping people as healthy as they can be and minimizing the consequences of any disease they develop.