You may have heard recently about population health management (PHM) software used by healthcare organizations and providers. With population health management platforms, they can better create patient care plans, track patient outcomes and achieve measurable improvements in a community’s health.

What is Population Health Management (PHM) software?

PHM software integrates data across healthcare IT systems and aggregates it for analysis. This form of technology provides an extensive and comprehensive patient data resource which is most useful for the healthcare industry. Aside from having references for patient data, the software has a set of analytic tools to predict and manage a patient’s health outcomes. Another function of this software is to facilitate value-based care in treating patients, thus improving population health.

Population health management software is accessible to the public through digital products, like phone apps, which aim to improve the efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of individualized patient care. The accessibility and integration of patients’ health and data lead to better predicting an individual’s health risks.

When studied together, the data can lead to a more accurate analysis of community health trends while identifying which successful treatments and social determinants of health (SDoH) affect specific patient populations. The aggregated data also can be utilized to study health trends, offer guidance on how to provide improved coordinated and quality care and initiate public health research within a community.

What Are the Qualifications of a Population Health Management platform?

For a platform to be included in the PHM category, there are a few qualifications it must meet. For example, it should:

  • Provide care coordination tools to healthcare organizations
  • Optimize patient engagement
  • Analyze patient health information to identify, monitor and manage patients, care and diseases
  • Facilitate the sharing of data between EHRs and other information databases

According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), there are three foundational and key elements for successful population health management that should be integrated into any PHM model:

1) Information-powered clinical decision-making

2) A primary care-led clinical workforce

3) Patient engagement and community integration

It’s recommended that healthcare leaders and providers follow these strategies to provide quality care and achieve better health outcomes. These strategies also are key to value-based care, which is one of the primary goals of the healthcare industry. With the data insights collected from a population health management platform, healthcare providers can improve efficiency in all aspects related to patient engagement.

Meanwhile, public health refers to the health situation of the public at large. It is subject to government regulation to ensure that medical professionals are doing their job properly, safely and carefully. Medical professionals utilize technology such as electronic health records (EHRs) to keep healthcare offices running smoothly. The data from these EHRs can also help keep tabs on public health data.