Do's and don'ts of building a population health program doctors love

Upcoming HIMSS18 session “Building a Population Health Strategy that Physicians Love” will focus on lessons learned in getting physician buy-in amidst rampant change fatigue.
By Beth Jones Sanborn
08:20 AM
population health doctor burnout

With the ever-evolving state of healthcare, seemingly endless regulations and burdensome paperwork, it’s no wonder that doctors are stressed, fed up with change, and besieged by burnout.

But the healthcare evolution continues, and the push toward value-based care means more change and possibly more work for doctors who are already weighed down by change fatigue. How then, do you engage physicians and get them to embrace population health strategy, including the use of analytics?

Alliance Cancer Specialists CEO Anne Marie Edwards and Cliff Frank, Executive Director of Shore Quality Partners, learned in their multi-year population health management journey that it requires a new culture and network initiatives embraced by both providers and practice stakeholders.

For starters, don’t burden busy doctors who just want to see patients with data they don’t need. “Only give them the data that is meaningful and actionable for them,” Edwards said. “This is why so many practices get tripped up -- stakeholders agree data is valuable but it’s really just a bunch of info if you can’t do anything with it.”

Also, give it to them in digestible doses. Don’t hit them with a lot at once and incorporate the whole care team in the conversation. And know that they can all contribute to value, Edwards said.

Frank added that data has been critical to breaking through the resistance of primary care physicians to change and the whole population health endeavor.

“Doctors are working 60 hours a week, stressed out and overwhelmed,” Frank said. “The last thing they want is someone telling them they have more work. Giving them data that they can rely upon as valid became really important in getting them to begin to focus on new things.”

Edwards and Frank will be speaking in the session, “Building a Population Health Strategy that Physicians Love,” at 2:30 p.m. March 7 in the Venetian, Delfino 4002.

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Twitter: @BethJSanborn
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