By Vera Gruessner on
Physicians looking to achieve the Triple Aim of Healthcare – lower costs, improved quality of care, and better population health management – will need to incorporate interoperable health IT systems and certified EHR technology. Healthcare tools like EHR platforms can better assist doctors with coordinating care, exchanging important medical data, and managing long-term care processes.
The newly appointed President and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, Tomás León, believes the establishment can help pave the way for reducing health disparities across the country, according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).
León explained that working toward improving quality of care and care coordination will help the healthcare industry achieve the Triple Aim. Boosting the patient experience and engagement can also play a role toward this three-pronged goal.
“One of the biggest opportunities that the Institute, with support of the AHA, has is to convene and lead this effort across the country in a shared call to action,” Tomás León said in a public statement. “There’s an opportunity for the Institute to lead the way in how we support and help hospitals and health systems connect with diverse communities and stakeholders to change those conditions that are resulting in health disparities and chronic health conditions.”
Certified EHR technology is able to boost population health management in a myriad of ways. One example stems from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health system’s EHR data where scientists from Veterans Affairs (VA) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) were able to utilize population health management strategies to pinpoint a segment of the population at high suicide risk.
According to a press release from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the researchers looked at data from 2009 to 2011. The scientists developed a predictive model by dividing the patient population in half at random, using one sect of the population to create the model, and comparing the two population halves.
More than 1 million control patients were used and a total of 3,180 suicide cases were included to create the predictive model and discover the patients at high risk of suicide. This shows how population health management and certified EHR technology can be used together to prevent certain mental health conditions and offer patients much-needed care.
Most of the patients that the researchers identified at high risk of suicide had actually been missed by their clinicians. Less than one-third of the patients within the model had been identified at high suicide risk clinically. This shows that the predictive model is more perceptive and precise than clinical flagging.
“As the largest health care provider in the U.S., VA has the responsibility to continuously examine how our extensive suicide prevention efforts are working, and to identify critical opportunities for improvement in service to our nation’s Veterans,” Dr. Caitlin Thompson, Deputy Director for Suicide Prevention for VA, said in the press release. “This collaborative effort with NIMH provides us with unprecedented information that will allow us to design and implement innovative strategies on how to assess and care for those Veterans who may be at high risk for suicide. This model will advance the care provided to Veterans through VA’s suicide prevention programs to allow us to better tailor our suicide prevention efforts so that we can ensure that all Veterans remain safe.”
Article Source: https://ehrintelligence.com/news/how-population-health-management-could-predict-suicide-risk