Health systems embrace population health improvement partnerships

Hospitals and health systems across the country are teaming up with different community organizations to help improve their populations' general health, according to a report by the Association for Community Health Improvement.

"Trends in Hospital-based Population Health Infrastructure" states hospitals reported several partnership types for population health improvement efforts, ranging from health-focused groups to schools and local government.

"Effective population health promotion necessitates collaborative relationships between hospitals and external organizations to expand the scope of hospital influence into communities," the report states.

The 1,198 hospitals partnered with the following groups:

  • Primary and secondary education (school districts): 78 percent

  • Public health department (local): 77 percent

  • Chamber of commerce or other business group: 71 percent

  • Community health center: 70 percent

  • American Heart/Lung/Diabetes Associations: 68 percent

  • City or county government: 66 percent

  • Community health coalitions: 61 percent

  • Faith community organizations: 58 percent

  • Postsecondary education (colleges, universities): 58 percent

  • Service leagues (Lions, Rotary, etc.): 55 percent

  • United Way: 52 percent

  • Neighborhood organizations: 45 percent

  • State public health department: 43 percent

  • YMCA/YWCA: 38 percent

  • Environmental organizations: 18 percent

The findings reinforce the need for further education and professional training in population health management, according to the Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence.

The American Hospital Association recommends small and rural hospitals have their leaders serve on community boards, as well as put community representation on hospital boards to help forge these partnerships, FierceHealthcare previously reported. They also should financially support community groups or form joint ventures with them.

To learn more:
- check out the report (.pdf)
- read the announcement