3 keys to a successful population health management approach

An organization's transition to manage the health of certain populations is often met with obstacles, but there are three strategies that will improve your chances of establishing a practical and effective approach, according to an article in Becker's Hospital Review.

The authors, healthcare strategists with Strategy&, describe a fictitious health system and its leader to illustrate a successful transformation to population health but the organization is based on the experiences of several health systems and executives.

They suggest the following steps to successfully manage the transition:

Define your purpose. Leaders must articulate a set of objectives they expect the organization to achieve in terms of outcomes, marketshare and margin, according to the article. Once everyone agrees on how to meet these objectives, leaders must conduct frequent meetings, tracking progress and having staff report on clinical, operational and financial performance for the target populations.

Ask physician leaders to take ownership: The success of the transformation hinged on physician leaders embracing and taking ownership of the change, according to the article. "They saw it as an opportunity to enhance patient care, increase community impact and attract like-minded practitioners," the authors wrote. "Key physician leaders led the charge for greater internal transparency of outcomes and costs, using peer pressure and crafting appropriate incentives to help their colleagues achieve higher performance."

Build on the system's strengths: Consider your roots in the community and charitable mission. The message to the fictional health system's team was, "We have been doing population health all along before there was even a name for it. Now we can be a regional leader in population health if we hold ourselves and each other accountable and push ourselves daily to make small but meaningful improvements."

Other strategies to improve population health management include the development of a strong hospitalist program and finding partners that have a similar mission and vision, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the article