Implementing an Effective Population Health Management Program

Guest post by Mohd Haque, vice president and global business head, healthcare, Wipro Technologies.

Mohd Haque
Mohd Haque

Population health management (PHM) isn’t just the latest buzzword. Or a new initiative mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Implementing a successful PHM program requires a complete shift in mindset from volume healthcare to value-based and outcome-based. PHM can’t be something that your healthcare facility “does,” but it must become the cornerstone of everything related to how your facility practices medicine.

Although the shift in perspective is the first step, it is essential to arm yourself with Population Health Management IT tools as well. According to 26th Annual HIMSS Study, half of the respondents (51 percent) have improved PHM through IT tools with only 38 percent saying that their organization was using specific Population Health Management tools.

By using big data analytics, EHR integration, IT infrastructure and security as part of a PHM program, providers can ensure patients that need high levels of care aren’t overlooked and the lower risk patients don’t get unnecessary care. This will in turn increase quality of care while saving money on interventions needed for low risk patients.

What are the Components of Effective PHM Program?

Since PHM is such a large shift, it is important to know exactly how to go about creating an environment that focuses on outcomes instead of volume. Population Health Alliance recommends the following four components to a PHM program:

However, you can’t simply change the process without changing how each person on the team views healthcare and their patients. It must be a fundamental shift in your facility from the receptionist to the department chief.

Population Health Management in Action

Brookings Institute recently reported on work from the Center for Health Policy and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) on how PHM can be used to increase the quality of life and reduce costs for asthma patients. The report found that in order to be successful treating asthma using the PHM model, clinicians will need to use a team approach, tap into community resources, and use payment models that pay for value. The shift to PHM affects the following players in unique and specific ways:

Using Technology in Your PHM Program

Technology shouldn’t be something you add into the program, but a core component as you design it from the ground up. To ensure privacy, data security tools as well as network infrastructure should be in place to prevent a data breach from day 1. Since data essential to determining risk is often in EHR records from past physicians or other specialists, EHR integration is essential to the PHM program as well. However, the backbone to a successful PHM program is using big data analytics from the assessment phase to the impact phase.

The bottom line is that it is not a single factor that creates an effective PHM program, but how healthcare enterprises combine the technological tools, strategy and process components. To meet the promise of PHM, a program must encompass the clinical, operation and technology together.

One comment on “Implementing an Effective Population Health Management Program”


This is a great article and pretty insightful on the shift in the mindset to drive the cost competitive Provider segment to a vlaue delivery based organizations.

Key questions for clarification I request:
– Challenges arising out of PII and PHI information gathering to generate the patient 360 degree view and generate the analytics on what all procedures and health issues the patient faced in the past and his medical profile/lifecycle to date. Your thoughts on how the industry should address this to gather information from various sources (including external) to generate analytics
– How to gather the medical events history (e.g., number of Asthma attacks) as the record of registry of such event not necessarily be there with one provider. Also your thoughts on how IoT (Internet of Things) can be deployed to capture and register such data to be able to drive analytics?

Debasis Mishra

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