5 lessons from healthcare partnership success stories

One of the best ways to improve population health management is through collaboration between healthcare facilities and community leaders, and a new study examines a variety of successful partnerships to make recommendations for how organizations can work together to improve public health.

Healthcare providers that adopt a population health-centric philosophy may be better suited to adjust to the industry's shift from a volume-based to value-based model, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

"This report, including its conclusions and recommendations, is worthy of the attention of every public health, hospital and community leader with a desire to improve the health of America's communities--and what this means for all of us," American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock writes in the foreword of the study.

The study--led by Lawrence Prybil, Norton professor in health leadership at the University of Kentucky--examines 12 partnerships between hospitals, public health departments and other community organizations.

Researchers chronicle the origins and effects of partnerships such as Detroit's Sew Up the Safety Net for Women & Children, The Heart of New Ulm Project in Minnesota, the California Healthier Living Coalition and the HOMETowns Partnership in Portland, Maine.

Here are some of the recommendations for building and maintaining successful partnerships:

  • Adopt a mission statement that spells out the partnership's goals and will inspire community-wide interest, engagement and support

  • Have one or more "anchor institutions" with dedication to the partnership's mission and strong commitment to provide financial support for it

  • Over time, engage a broad range of other parties from the private and public sectors

  • Have a designated body to set policy and provide strategic leadership

  • Produce "impact statements" that present an evidence-based picture of what the partnership is accomplishing as well as the costs it is incurring

Some steps that healthcare organizations themselves should implement when focusing on population health include defining a clear set of objectives, asking physician leaders to take charge and building on the system's existing strengths, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

Data analysis can also be useful in managing population health, as St. Vincent's Health Partners in Bridgeport, Connecticut, discovered, FierceHealthIT reported. It has had success with using its analytics system to create monthly data reports for each member of the organization to identify at-risk patients and evaluate physicians' performance.

To learn more:
- check out the study (.pdf)