According to the American Hospital Association (AHA), population health can become the crucial foundation needed to improve the health outcomes within a group of people. Population health focuses upon three correlated stages:
- First, it identifies and analyzes the distribution of specific health statuses and outcomes within a specific population.
- Then, it identifies and evaluates the factors that cause the current outcomes distribution.
- Finally, it identifies and implements the necessary interventions that may modify the factors to improve health outcomes (Health Research and Educational Trust, 2012, 2013).
Population health is unique because it intersects three distinct health care areas: quality and patient safety, care coordination, and prevention. As a health care administrator, you must ensure that you consider each of these areas when managing community health issues and developing initiatives to deal with them. Consider a health care facility in your local community and how it handled a health issue. Did it follow the three stages of population health? If so, did the intervention modify the factors to improve the health outcomes?
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For this Discussion, select a local health care facility that is addressing a need within your community. Consider the following questions as you formulate your response.
- Why is it important for health care administrators to address population health issues?
- How would you find out about the health issues of your community? Consider a variety of sources.
- How can the health care administration respond to population health issues?