Population health is when disease occurrences are compared in population groups according to age, location, and gender. Population health is very important to improve patient outcome levels and focusing on it also boosts patient satisfaction. The top significance in population health this year includes telehealth, tackling Social determinants of health (SDOH), and focusing on health disparities in patient populations.
Top 3 Population Health Developments
- Virtual Care Solutions – Due to the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic patients expected their healthcare provider to offer virtual care solutions such as the Telemedicine EMR Software platform. Digital solutions such as patient portal software, 2-way text messaging facility, and chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence are coming to the spotlight when it comes to offering personalized and convenient care options to patients. An increase in home monitoring is coming online with glucose monitors and on-demand electrocardiograms which empowers patients to participate in their healthcare journey. Monitoring health at home with wearable devices will become even more popular in 2022. Telehealth helps patients to manage their chronic conditions and helps to improve overall health and wellness over time as patients can easily have access to healthcare providers.
- Addressing SDOH – By investing efforts in addressing social determinants of health barriers to care can be examined. SDOH are non-medical factors such as income, education, and working life conditions that impact health outcomes. Research suggests that SDOH can be a major contributing factor as compared to healthcare in influencing health. When social determinants of health are addressed properly then population health can be improved and any imbalances in care can be reduced effectively. Studying SDOH data can help practitioners identify the underlying cause that affects population health.
- Decreasing Healthcare Disparity Gaps – Addressing disparities can help close any gaps in care. Healthcare leaders can deal with disparities effectively by reporting health disparities on race rather than SDOH within clinics and any digital programs. Healthcare providers can even build strong relationships with community partners to address any disparities.
Interest in population health is increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has the benefits of enhanced quality of patient care and the reduction of costs. By understanding population health trends clinical outcomes can also enhance and any gaps in care can be closed.