Population Health Focus
What are the ways in which a population health focus might be applied in transforming the health care delivery system?
Population health is the health prominence and results within a cluster of people, not bearing in mind an individual’s health at a time. Population health focus deals with the interrelated factors affecting the health status of an identified population and determines the systematic variations in the occurrence pattern. Knowledge of the occurrence pattern is then used to develop and implement policies and actions to improve the well-being of the identified population. Segmentations of the patient population, using value-based care instead of volume-based care, and identifying risk factors are ways population health focus is used to transform the healthcare delivery system.
Segmenting the patient population helps to group the population to improve care based on factors like age, gender, condition, risk stratification, behavior, and demographic factors. Unlike working with the general population without segmentation, healthcare workers can be more precise with the population under consideration. In the end, they can connect the population with the desired and appropriate health resources to improve healthcare delivery.
Moving from volume-based to value-based care has helped to focus on prevention, improving care, and reducing cost and expenditure. Before the shift, the system was not considering the cost of the care and how it affects the healthcare systems and patients (Click & Regueiro, 2019). Moving to value-based implementation in the healthcare systems has helped to improve communication and the continuum of patient care (Jivraj, Barrow, & Listl, 2021).
The last way is to identify the risk factors, as there are limiting factors that contribute to chronic diseases troubling the communities. Identifying the first-degree factors of chronic diseases in the unhealthy diet, lack of physical activities, and drug abuse that led to intermediate risks like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, among others, can be well addressed to reduce the occurrence of a disease. On the other hand, there are non-modifiable risk factors, for example, age and heredity, which contribute to the long life history and are well studied. Prevention mechanisms are put in place to reduce the occurrence of chronic diseases (Ali et al., 2020).
Performing patients’ segmentations, using value-based care, and identifying the risk factors are significant ways that can be used to transform healthcare delivery. This way, the healthcare personnel will be able to identify the appropriate cause of health issues among a given patient segment and provide an appropriate solution. These three ways should be used often to ensure maximum delivery from the healthcare systems.
Ali, F., El-Sappagh, S., Islam, S. R., Kwak, D., Ali, A., Imran, M., & Kwak, K. S. (2020). A smart healthcare monitoring system for heart disease prediction based on ensemble deep learning and feature fusion. Information Fusion, 63, 208-222.
Click, B., & Regueiro, M. (2019). The inflammatory bowel disease medical home: from patients to populations. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 25(12), 1881-1885.
Jivraj, A., Barrow, J., & Listl, S. (2021). Value-based oral health care: implementation lessons from four case studies. Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, 101662.