Improved living conditions, higher income, employment generation, industrialization, and technological revolution– with all these one can embrace the ease of living but at the same time invite complexities in the daily lives. The stress of maintaining the high-end job, rushing to meet the loan repayment deadlines, stressful working hours creates restlessness and no time to lead on to a healthy lifestyle. This ultimately leads to the mass birth of chronic diseases in people around the world.
Hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and asthma are the common chronic disorders the real world is now facing, and this trend is estimated to only rise upwards by 2025. As the proverb goes, prevention is better than cure; population health management are striving to establish cohorts for patients by recognizing characteristic traits and subsequently develop customized acute and preventive care protocols before the patient contracts the chronic disorder. This enables the management to treat the patients as per their respective risk profiles. The management also ensures optimization of the patient’s financial conditions.
Benefits of Population Health Management
Successful implementation of population health management can benefit not only the patients and the physicians but also for healthcare organizations and the economies at large.
- Patients and Physicians: While the physicians have in their hands a complete knowledge of their patient’s medical history, present health status and thereby, can deduce the prime focus area for their patients. Thus, the patients, in turn, would consequently enjoy better measures and modes of medical care. Timely preventive protocols also help patients dodge expensive surgeries or procedures in the future.
- The System of Healthcare and the Organization: Co-ordinated movements of the management results in efficacy and higher quality services provided by the healthcare organizations, enhancing the system in the process. With the physician-patient gaps filling in owing to transparency, a number of patients increase and the actual costs of the provision of healthcare can be better estimated.
- Corporate Sector Wellness: The importance of population health management in office spaces is becoming more and more prominent by the day. The procedure improves the morale and physical health of the employees and thus, their productivity in the company.
- Overall Impact on the Nation: As the building units are better focused and conditions enhanced, they integrate and are viewed as a whole, lead to the development of the nation. Cost reductions, superior disease handling techniques and a population with overall improved health standards are without a doubt, positive results for any economy.
Barriers to the Functioning of Population Health Management
Even though the new management facilitates geriatric populace to stay back within the comfort of their homes and carry on with their treatment and also implement various other perks, there exists a couple of barriers to the working of this otherwise brilliant system.
- Change Management: The challenging functioning of a multi-disciplinary team demands for meticulous, efficient and dynamic personnel who are flexible enough to adapt to the continuous shifting processes, responsibilities and roles. Along with worker’s capabilities, the leader’s expertise and guidance are as vital in ensuring the workers completing their jobs as a team to bring about the best results.
- Model of Reimbursement: The current models on healthcare trace their origin to the primitive time of the 1950s or 60s and base their programming on “Fee-For-Service”. Their focus was on paying for the sick, not adopting healthier measures for better living. Thus, this model has scanty incentives for implementing preventive measures over procedures of cure. Moreover, the existing model in the hospitals downplays on the means of patient-physician interaction.
- Slow-active to Proactive: The population health management system, encourages interaction of the patients with their physicians and also the former’s active participation in taking charge of his or her health. However, the existing model completely shuns the very same approach. Therefore, the transition into the proactive zone is vital; following which, technology will only need so much as a slight nudge to take on an immense role in the betterment of the management system.
Global Growth of Population Health Management (PHM) Market
It has been forecasted that the worldwide market for population health management will shoot up to 42.54 billion US dollars by 2021.
- Asia-Pacific: The Asia-Pacific is expected to record the highest growth for the PHM market. The driving factors might include proper penetration of the PHM programs, expanding Asiatic medical tourism, efforts in digitalizing healthcare (in China) and discoveries in the medical line up in Japan.
- North America: The continent is projected to grab the largest global share of the market owing to the increasing costs of healthcare in the US along with a rising elderly population, growing prevalence and coming into existence of the chronic diseases and disorders and the subsequent spreading of awareness about the same.
Canada expands its market with increased spending on healthcare, government implementation of programs and the alarming prevalence of chronic diseases among the commoners.
Population Health Management demands not only for analysis but also for action. For action and implementation, there have been considerations for implementing artificial intelligence and automation as well. The need for population health management is dire, and the global market is bound to turn more demanding. Hence, with the apt people, business processes and tools of carefully crafted evidence-based management plans for healthcare, attaining population health would become a reality.
Author: Clive Cooper
Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Inkwood Research