What is Population Health?

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DEM white shirtBy David Edward Marcinko MBBS DPM MBA MEd


[Lloyd V. Hackley Endowed Chair * Department of Capitalism and Free Enterprise * Fayetteville State University * School of Business and Economics]

What is population health?

In its most fundamental sense, population health seeks to improve or manage the health of a specific population. It is a systematic, holistic approach that aims to prevent disease by keeping people healthy and improving the quality of care.



In fact, according to my colleague David B. Nash MD MBA, Founding Dean and Endowed Chair at the Jefferson College of Population Health, population health programs and interventions work to:

  • Connect prevention, wellness and behavioral health with traditional health care delivery
  • Focus on improving the quality and safety of care, improving access to healthcare services and helping to prevent/manage chronic diseases in the service of a specific population
  • Advance policies and solutions to address socio-economic and cultural factors (social determinants of health) that have an impact on health outcomes
  • Leverage technology and information systems to design social and community interventions and new models of health care delivery that facilitate care coordination and access


Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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3 Responses

  1. Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Pledges To Invest $5 Billion In Africa

    Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates recently said his charity foundation will invest $5 billion in African development, with a focus on health initiatives, over the next five years.

    Go Bill!

    David E. Marcinko MBBS MBA


  2. What are 10 key elements for improving population health?

    National Quality Forum: 10 Key Elements For Improving Population Health

    1. Collaborative Self-Assessment
    2. Leadership Across the Region and Within Organizations
    3. Audience-Specific Strategic Communication
    4. A Community Health Needs Assessment and Asset Mapping Process
    5. An Organizational Planning and Priority-Setting Process
    6. An Agreed-Upon, Prioritized Set of Health Improvement Activities
    7. Selection and Use of Measures and Performance Targets
    8. Joint Reporting on Progress Toward Achieving Intended Results
    9. Indications of Scalability
    10. A Plan for Sustainability

    Source: National Quality Forum, August 2016


  3. Top 10 Challenges of Population Health Management

    1. Identifying a starting point
    2. Understanding patient attribution
    3. Stratifying patients by risk
    4. Hiring or reallocating staff members
    5. Getting paid for population health
    6. Developing acceptance of new workflows
    7. Bolstering patient engagement
    8. Coordinating care across the continuum
    9. Tracking care quality and outcomes
    10. Communicating best practices and lessons learned

    Source: HealthIT Analytics, July 14, 2017


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