Population health: The pieces are starting to fit together

Speakers at the Pop Health Forum in October will address a range of challenges and opportunities from analytics to chronic care management to patient engagement and value-based strategies.
By Tom Sullivan
09:26 AM
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Population health forum

HIMSS' Population Health Forum held in Boston in April.

Population health is a grand vision with many working parts, and the opportunities are both enormous and challenging when it comes to revenue and care delivery outcomes.

There’s no single, concise and precise definition of population health management, and that makes it trickier. But it’s also more important than ever for healthcare executives to understand exactly what pop health is, and what it is not.

That said, the picture is starting to get clearer. Pop health pieces are many: care coordination, chronic care management, patient engagement, mobile and telehealth, social determinants, value-based care — not to mention government policy.  

Experts will share insights and success stories about the opportunities and hard-wrought lessons learned at the Pop Health Forum Oct. 2 to 3 in Chicago.

And then there’s the data and information. Population health programs, quite simply, cannot succeed without data and that means accessing it from various sources including social determinants of health.

Achieving that level of integration will set the foundation for hospitals to transform themselves into information-driven organizations aggressively coordinating patients and clinician interactions and down the road toward true value-based care.

[Also: Population Health Forum in Chicago is Oct. 2-3Register now]

So what will it take to get there?

That depends on exactly the people and specific conditions you are trying to reach in population health management programs. But there are some basic elements emerging as must-haves: analytics, data science teams, programs to engage patients and caregivers alike and, of course, a mix of existing and next-generation health information technologies.

I’m not alone in saying that it won’t be just the EHR or any single piece of software but, instead, a collection of platforms, apps and devices generating patient data and, ultimately, turning that data into actionable information for doctors, clinicians and researchers.  

I hope to see you at the Pop Health Forum. 

Twitter: SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com


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