Population Health is an approach to health that aims to improve the health of an entire human population while reducing health inequities or disparities among different population groups and changing form individual based care to a model in which Population Health Management (PHM) plays a major role. The concept of population health came about in 2003 when David Kindig and Greg Stoddart defined it as “the health outcome of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.” There is some complaint that this first definition focuses only on the measurement of health outcomes without explaining the role that health care providers take to impact the outcomes.
The healthcare provider plays a large part in Population Health Management, which includes creating patient registries and engaging patients while coordinating their care. The goal of population health management is to keep the patient population as healthy as possible, minimizing the need for expensive interventions such as emergency department visits, hospitalizations, imaging tests, and procedures. This lowers costs and redefines healthcare as an activity encompassing much more than sick care.
Healthcare professionals are looking to and beyond the vendors who supply their core financial and clinical information systems for more specialized cutting-edge applications needed for PHM success – these applications and systems will contain multilevel reporting, patient engagement and education, and quality improvement. New registries will not only collect and store data, but will also connect care gap reports with the ability to alert patients that they need to be seen. This automation will help ensure that people do not fall through the cracks. Already, innovative Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) providers such as Greenway PrimeSuite are offering the integrated and far-reaching systems to their subscribers.