go through a set of prompts to make
sure that they are ordering the correct
tests and to make sure it is appropriate to
be ordered. Organizations look to decision support systems to reduce medical
errors, improve quality, reduce overuti-lization and provide personalized medical treatment. 20 The net effect will be a
reduction in radiology exams along with
a large reduction in traditional radiology revenue, as well as other challenges.
The implementation of a decision support system can be a challenge, so the
following pointers are suggested: develop
a comprehensive plan, quantify financial efforts, manage evidence tradeoffs,
respect provider autonomy, and acknowledge apparent conflicts of interest. 20
With all of the diverse groups of input
and varying definitions for the term of
“population health,” it could be contended that population health is more of
a philosophy than a hard and fast proven
term or business practice. The term population health can be considered a philosophy of a new model of healthcare based
upon future expectations from current
laws and studies from the federal government and healthcare organizations. Adding the concept of resources to pay for
this model, the definition of population
health could be: A healthcare model managing a multitude of lives with a defined
population in a holistic health manner
employing quality and safety improvements, care coordination, and expanded
preventive services with a predetermined
set of resources to manage the processes,
organizations, providers, and other
needed components in a shared risk environment with providers and payers.
Population health is a newly created
term, or philosophy, that has only been
discussed in the US healthcare indus-
try for the past few years. The intent of
population health was created by govern-
mental healthcare reform and promoted
by healthcare industry participants. The
population health philosophy is being
continually developed as different groups
of individuals pursue their understand-
ing and provide context of the subject
based on their view of what the end
result should look like.
The model of population health has
even expanded into universities and the
job market. The School of Medicine
and Public Health at the University of
Wisconsin—Madison, Thomas Jefferson
University, and Northwestern University
have created curriculum programs in the
field of population health. A person can
obtain degrees from a certificate program to a Ph.D. in the field of population health, as well as a bachelor’s degree
or master’s degree. The job market has
also introduced new positions, such as
Director of Population Health, Director
Nurse Care Coordination of Population
Health, Population Health Specialist, and
a Chair Position for a New Department
of Population Health Sciences. These
educational programs and career opportunities will continue to expand and gain
support as they will become more successful and sustainable in the future of
the US healthcare system.
Industry, government, and market
forces are moving in a multitude of
directions in search of the perfect model
of population health. It is certain that
providers, payers, and patients in the US
healthcare system will see and be affected
by this new model. There is much more
to come on the development and implementation of a population health model
that will be successful and sustainable.
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August 28, 2014.
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Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/
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