Pop Health Forum 2016 recap

The second Pop Health Forum 2016 took place in Chicago with expert speakers, panelists and healthcare professionals discussing pressing issues, from analytics to chronic care management to telehealth. Here’s a roundup of what happened. 
By Tom Sullivan
12:30 PM
Pop Health Forum 2016

The Pop Health Forum 2016 convened in Chicago this week. Keynoters, speakers and panelists took the stage to address a range of topics such as defining population health's role in public health, leveraging new payment models, assuming risk and making the most of strategic resources — as well some basics: the blocking and tackling of infrastructure and technology.

Monday morning'a keynote speaker, Michael Dulin, MD, director of the University of North Carolina Charlotte’s academy for population health innovation, kicked things off with a look at the intertwined relationship between public health and population health management techniques.

Dulin’s message: The care delivery system must be redesigned from the ground up, based on data, if population health is going to thrive. ⇒ Read the full article.

The care delivery system is not the only aspect of today’s healthcare industry that speakers questioned. Another: the technological underpinnings of hospitals, practices and medical groups – even large integrated delivery networks.

IT infrastructure for population health must include analytics, care coordination, telehealth and smartphone apps as well as patient engagement tools. Adrian Zai. MD, clinical director of population informatics at Mass. General, said all of those need to be integrated. And that’s just a start, tech-wise. Read the reality check on how today's IT fares for population health. ⇒ Read the full article.

Within the discussion of technology, Citius Tech vice president Jeffrey Springer cautioned executives and health IT professionals to avoid chasing bright shiny objects in the name of population health – instead ending up with difficult-to-mange morass of systems that do not serve patients well at all. ⇒ Read the full article.

It’s no secret that engaging patients is difficult, of course. But Northwell Health’s Director of Digital Intervention Frederick Muench offered a contrarian take on developing technologies that people actually use to improve health: Start with the patient, figure out existing barriers and then plug in technologies that will help overcome those. ⇒ Read the full article

Patient engagement is critical to population health — as it is to the Triple Aim. Even though engagement has not, to date, been part of the Triple Aim to improve patient care that leads to healthier populations and reduces costs, population health consultant made the bold prediction that without incorporating patient education and engagement as a core component, the Triple Aim will never bend the cost curve. Not today, not even 50 years from now. ⇒ Read the full article.

Among the success stories that providers shared on stage is that of Advocate Health Care using telemedicine in its intensive care unit to slash ICU stays by 352 days between 2014 and 2015, which saved $300,000 while reducing ventilator days by 331 in that same time period saved $400,000. ⇒ Read the full article.

Healthcare IT News also interviewed speakers leading up to the event about the challenges of understanding data, critical steps to a successful population health framework, savvy engagement of the C-suite in population health initiatives, as well as looks at how health systems such as John Muir Medical Center aligned IT and care management to advance its programs, Geisinger joined forces with KeyHIE to boost clinician productivity an hour a day and Centura Health found success teaming up with Dispatch Health to conduct medical concierge services via the latter’s mobile app. ⇒ Read the roundup.  

Helpful advice for planning to purchase a population health platform:

⇒ Experts explain what to look for when choosing a population health platform
⇒ Comparison chart of 8 population health products 
An in-depth look at 8 population health software programs

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

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