Understanding is the first step toward health
Since ancient times, the story of medicine has been one of ongoing discovery, pushing the frontiers of science forward to gain a deeper and more holistic understanding of what makes us ill and how we can restore health.
Physicians and health experts have begun to recognize that Population Health plays an ever-larger role — perhaps the central role — in effectively responding to the health and wellness challenges of the 21st century.
The challenge of the new
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic offers a sobering illustration of the implications disease can have in a globalized society.
Coronaviruses, a family that includes the common cold, have been known and studied since the 1960s, but sometimes can spring a surprise, causing experts to focus on a single strain.
Population Health studies, by contrast, take a wider survey, examining the broad range of factors that impact the health of populations, including diet, exercise, genetics, environment, and Social Determinants of Health.
Gaining knowledge, reducing risks
But the coronavirus pandemic and Population Health studies both illustrate the principle that risk is usually proportional to what we do not know about a pathogen or societal condition.
For example, once physicians and scientists understood the factors contributing to heart disease, they could recommend lifestyle and diet modifications to reduce risk.
As understanding of COVID-19 has grown, preventive measures and treatments have improved. While the pandemic continues, experts already have a clearer understanding of it, and several promising vaccines are under development.
Tools to deepen understanding
In Population Health, the more information healthcare providers have, the better their chances of addressing health challenges. And as important as it is to contain a pandemic, the bulk of the work in healthcare in years ahead will involve battling the chronic diseases that claim the majority of lives every year — heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
At eClinicalWorks, we believe in improving healthcare together. Doing so means providing not only a comprehensive EHR for documentation and Practice Management, but a full range of Population Health tools.
Our solutions for Chronic Care Management, Transition Care Management, and Population Care Planning can improve providers’ ability to track patients and customize care. Doctors can use our HCC Module and HEDIS® Analytics to identify and close gaps in care. And Disease Explorer promotes more accurate risk assessment and prioritization of care.
Population Health may sound new, but it’s really a set of tools to help your practice deliver the same quality healthcare you always have, only more effectively.