While population health management (PHM) has been bantered about for more than a decade, the shift to value-based care has more recently expedited its adoption. As clinicians and health care executives look to leverage all means possible to improve patient outcomes and manage rising costs, PHM is enabling them to better understand patient populations, identify and stratify those at risk, and intervene accordingly to manage the health and wellness of targeted populations of patients.
The ultimate goal of PHM — improved patient outcomes — is enabled when physicians and systems have a deeper understanding of the behaviors and history of specific patient populations and patients become better engaged in their own care. Yet, ironically, this strategy, which is supposed to increase efficiencies in clinical care, is actually placing more of a burden on health care providers to clearly delineate a pool of attributed patients, establish regular communication with patient cohorts, analyze social and genomic indicators and report progress.
PHM 2.0 — A New Approach To Patient Understanding, Engagement
The use of innovative technologies and data-driven analytics is driving a new generation of population health management. PHM 2.0 makes it easier for physicians to communicate with patients and gain a deeper understanding of specific diseases and their impact on certain populations. Below are a few examples of these technologies at work:
- Telemedicine: Since one of the keys elements to effective PHM is patient involvement, telemedicine and remote patient monitoring solutions can play a major role in encouraging actions that get patients involved in their own care. Through a program run by a major Boston-based health system, for example, congestive heart failure patients used at-home monitoring devices to send updates of their weight, blood pressure and other metrics to the health system. Clinical decision support software then helped identify the patients that needed specific interventions. The program is greatly reducing the number of nurses required and reducing readmissions among the participating patient population, while also reducing costs.
- Internet of things (IoT): Health care organizations investing in PHM models are embracing IoT to reduce the burdens of chronic diseases. This can be seen in wearable fitness trackers and even ingestible sensors placed inside of pills. IoT is providing revolutionary opportunities for providers to help patients maintain wellness or monitor chronic diseases.
Date: August 02, 2019