Population Health News
October 2015 – By Thomas Van Gilder, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Informatics and Analytics, Transcend Insights
Each month, Population Health News asks a panel of industry experts to discuss a topic suggested by a subscriber. Responses to this Thought Leader question are a continuation from the September issue of Population Health News.
Q. What Is the Role of Hospitals in Achieving Population Health Management?
Hospitals are the hub of most patients care. Depending on the circumstance, a hospital stay can have a tremendous impact on a patient’s overall health. Therefore, it is critical that hospitals have access to real-time insights generated from a patient’s clinical, claims and wellness data to improve the overall health of a patient or population.
The key is to provide high-quality care that is delivered safely and coordinated across the spectrum of care. Prioritizing real-time analytics that incorporate not only clinical data generated from a particular hospital visit, but also from a patient’s encounters across a healthcare system, could help provide a more complete view of a patient’s overall health status. Understanding what a patient needs not only from his or her hospitalization, but overall, is a key driver toward improving care quality, safety and, in aggregate, improved population health outcomes.
This is also essential for identifying gaps in care that if unattended, could impact a patient’s health. For example, if a hospital can identify that a patient is not receiving a certain medication or preventive service, his/her physician could proactively intervene and provide those services at the next point of contact. As hospitals adopt a population health mindset and the information systems needed to support this approach, they will be able to integrate more easily into the broader aspects of a patient’s care and life. Hospitals have developed into silos of not only patient data, but also patient experiences; therefore, integrating the critical role of the hospital into a patient’s overall care and health is essential to improving the health of the population a hospital serves.
Thomas J. Van Gilder, M.D., J.D., MPH
Chief Medical Officer Vice President, Informatics and Analytics Transcend Insights San Diego, Calif.