Transforming Healthcare Delivery System with Population Health Focus
The healthcare sector is evolving rapidly, bringing about various challenges which impact the delivery of care services to populations. As a result, there is a growing need to develop the healthcare delivery model to meet the emerging demands of the people. For a long time, healthcare service delivery has been done based on the biomedical model of health. However, the model has not been able to meet the demands for effective care delivery to communities and individuals.
Some of the challenges that have emerged in the healthcare system include (1) the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which fundamentally revolutionized how healthcare systems across the world deliver services, and (2) the increasing cost of health services (Bakshi et al., 2021). The traditional model of care delivery which is based on the biomedical model of health, is hinged on face-to-face visits and fee-for-service insurance and reimbursement models. Healthcare sectors can utilize the population-based approach to improve healthcare service delivery by addressing the challenges facing traditional care delivery models.
The population health focus approach describes the shift from the traditional care delivery model toward cross-sector collaboration in advancing the health of communities. Sectors that can collaborate in the adoption of a population-based approach to healthcare delivery include the primary care providers, the public health sector, and healthcare providers and organizations. Partnerships and collaboration between the sectors can effectively address population health needs and improve community health outcomes (Shahzad et al., 2019). The improvement in health outcomes is attributed to the robustness and agility of population-focused interventions as they seek to address the health determinants of the target population. Population-focused interventions are also crucial in optimizing the healthcare sector’s investments as they prompt the healthcare sector to understand and act on the factors that undermine community health.
Moreover, the shift from individual-focused interventions to population-focused interventions emphasizes the need for health promotion. While the individual-focused approach is geared towards addressing the essential mission of healthcare, this approach’s most significant shortcoming is the inability to contribute to disease prevention. Note that this is because the individual-based approach focuses on the individual’s illness while ignoring the need to address the factors that cause disparities in health outcomes. The population-based approach helps overcome the issue by examining and addressing population-level risk factors.
Further, the population focus approach enhances care delivery by producing data utilized to formulate effective policies. As the healthcare sector evolves, there is a need for new policies to help it adapt to emerging challenges. By utilizing clinical insights and data from a population-based approach, policymakers can formulate policies that streamline care delivery tailored to meet specific needs in the community (Bakshi et al., 2021). Thus, the population focus approach can be utilized to address population-specific risk factors. According to Shahzad et al. (2019), the population focus approach enables the formulation of policies to address inequalities faced by underserved populations.
Bakshi, S., Schiavoni, K. H., Carlson, L. C., Chang, T. E., Flaster, A. O., Forester, B. P., … & Mendu, M. L. (2021). The essential role of population health during and beyond COVID-19. American Journal of Managed Care, 27(3).
Shahzad, M., Upshur, R., Donnelly, P., Bharmal, A., Wei, X., Feng, P., & Brown, A. D. (2019). A population-based approach to integrated healthcare delivery: a scoping review of clinical care and public health collaboration. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-15.