The Population Health Alliance defines engagement as, “when an individual performs sustained actions toward achieving optimal health and well-being.” As an example, a person living with diabetes could be considered engaged when they “actively participate and collaborate in their treatment plan, expend effort learning as much as they can about their condition and practice routine self-care.”
With this in mind, how can population health efforts tap into the benefits of patient engagement? Our own Chris Lukasiak has a recent article in Beckers that attempts to answer this question.
According to PHA, population health efforts typically pursue the following strategy:
- Identifying and stratifying the population
- Setting triggers for outreach or quality improvement
- Engaging consumers
- Monitoring and tracking outcomes to ensure the success of both consumers in achieving their goals and healthcare organizations in meeting their value-based contract requirements
“The Last Mile in Population Health” argues that population health efforts so far do a great job on the first two but fail to capitalize on number 3 and 4.
As much as patients would like to shift from being a passive recipient to an active participant in one’s health, accessing care is still unnecessarily complicated.
So, how can population health make it easier for patients to take control of their treatment plan? The Population Health Alliance suggests that organizations “provide convenience and efficient self-service and self-management options where possible like other industries.”