nurse-748186__340 Introduction to Population Health

In this second part of our seven part series, we introduce Population Health and what it offers to both health care providers and patients.

Population health states a goal of prompting a better clinical outcome and lowering the cost of healthcare. Will that be the outcome? Traditional healthcare is said to have been disconnected across settings and providers from an IT perspective as well as a process and procedural perspective. So much is true, yet the fact remains that because it promotes faster care it often is seen by the patient and the healthcare providers as less complete care, or care that isn’t as well considered.

Healthcare as it stands today is simply a payment for a service. The new term–population health– is patient centric–which arguably health care has always been. Not a lot has changed, merely the terms we are using are changing according to many health care providers,… so what makes population health better?

Population health falls back to the goals of the provider and the purported goals of the payer–that triple aim that everyone should have, which is:

-To improve the experience of the patient so far as quality of care and satisfaction with care.

-To improve the health of the various populations.

-To lower the cost of health care.

What Exactly IS Population Health?

The population health model uses specific groups of patients to predict behavior or health challenges. It uses those predictable items to improve the quality of care for patients while lowering inefficiencies and providing a better quality of care. It uses data from across the healthcare continuum to reduce the cost of healthcare. The population health methodology also engages the patient and manipulates behavioral changes to provide the client with better overall health.

Population Health provides for better care and lower costs by:

-Identifying patients and patient populations who are the most likely to benefit from health care intervention.

-Preventing unnecessary or too frequent readmission to the hospital by managing behaviors.

-Managing the transition of care such as release from the hospital.

-Identifying real problems in the patient lifestyle to prevent the need for testing or future hospital care.

-Ensuring that the doctor is on-board with evidence based care planning to lower the inefficient or costly care approaches.

A population health model works to set up the right processes, the right training, the right structure in an organization and the right incentives to provide for the most effective, the most efficient and the least costly health care. Find out how those processes work in the third part of this series, Population Health Effectiveness and Methods.

If you missed part one (1) of this series, go here .

Learn to how to STOP losing your best nurses, IMPROVE your patient outcomes and DECREASE your staffing costs with special guest LeAnn Thieman. Download the free webinar transcript with LeAnn, Hall of Fame Speaker, Nurse, and Co-Author of the book Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. Download your free copy here.

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