Over the past year, it feels as though we all received a collective crash course in public, or population, health. But, while most of us are now all too familiar with some aspects of population health management – social distancing, shelter-in-place, and contact tracing to name a few – there’s much more beneath the surface, especially financially.
With a topic so substantial in scope, it can be hard to know where to begin. In a recent eBook, IMO experts weighed in and shared five tips on how to start setting your team up for success. Below, we’ve highlighted one that feels particularly relevant amidst a still-growing pandemic.
Start by shifting your mindset
Providers are trained to address immediate, clinical needs before focusing on larger population-level issues. However, successful population health programs place equivalent importance on long-term outcomes and individual patient care. Asking clinicians to equally prioritize both individual, immediate patient care along with overarching population health goals is usually untenable given their workloads. Indeed, doing so may ultimately result in poorer, rather than improved, outcomes.
Then, divide and conquer
Develop a two-tiered approach by creating separate teams to focus primarily on either patient care or on population health. Clinical providers are the natural fit to track individual patients, whereas public health professionals or social workers are better equipped to assess the larger, population-health picture. This breakdown of responsibilities helps encourage proactive patient engagement, which ultimately supports cost-effective and appropriate care.
Interested in learning more? Download our eBook, Managing the financials of population health: Challenges and solutions, today.