Population health initiatives drive hospital collaboration

The push for patient-centered care and improving population health has led to increased collaboration among hospitals, according to a nationwide survey from the American Hospital Association (AHA).

About nine in 10 hospitals collaborate with other hospitals and seven in 10 participate in a regional collaborative on these initiatives, according to the survey of more than 1,400 hospitals conducted by the AHA's Research & Educational Trust and the Association for Community Health Improvement, in partnership with the Public Health Institute. 

The survey asked hospital leaders about their partnerships with community organizations, the process of assessing community health needs and the structure of population health initiatives. The findings reveal: 

  • Eighty-five percent of hospitals reported strong or total commitment to population health or have population health in their vision statements.

  • Hospitals are almost as likely to consider their "population" to be the patients that use their health system (70 percent) or their geographic service area (69 percent).

  • More than 90 percent of hospitals agreed or strongly agreed that population health was aligned with their mission. However, only 19 percent of those hospitals strongly agreed that they had the financial resources available for population health while less than 20 percent strongly agreed that their hospital has programs to address socioeconomic determinants of health.

The survey also found the most common partnerships with community organizations were with public health departments, chambers of commerce, health insurance companies and community clinics.

To learn more:
- download the survey results (.pdf)

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