Traditionally, healthcare has focused on episodic care — you get sick, go to a hospital or a physician office, and receive treatment for a particular problem — most likely without establishing an ongoing relationship with those healthcare providers. A transformation is well underway at Novant Health that’s moving away from this type of care to create a cohesive, integrated and comprehensive approach to healthcare that considers health outcomes within a population.
Population health is more than just caring for patients in immediate need and on an episodic basis; population health management is assessing entire populations and stratifying them into various health stages: the well, those at risk, and the chronically ill.
This approach enables Novant Health to target the right interventions and better manage all aspects of health through a focus on quality and improved care coordination across care settings and over long periods of time. This strategic priority will help us refine and improve the healthcare experience and meet consumer demand for high quality, affordable healthcare.
By promoting health and preventing disease, Novant Health can lower healthcare costs and optimize utilization, making healthcare more affordable for everyone.
In order for this transformation to succeed, however, we must transform the patient way of thinking as well. Americans tend to depend on a quick fix to a health problem, instead of thinking in terms of their overall health and wellness. When we talk about health, we need to refer to overall health, including physical, mental and social well-being.
Over the past several years, Novant Health has made great progress toward becoming a system that works across traditional boundaries, shares knowledge and best practices, leverages economies of scale, and innovates models of patient care. At the same time, the healthcare industry is increasingly focused on improving population health, enhancing the patient experience, and controlling costs. The payment system is shifting from rewarding volume to rewarding value. Value will be found in managing health versus treating illness.
Novant Health sees several pillars to success in population health management:
- Improve the health of our communities
- Manage populations in and out of Novant Health with analytic precision to ensure quality and safety
- Put patients at the center to help them succeed in a complex healthcare environment
- Complement existing platforms to make it easy for providers and patients
- Drive system and patient affordability
While there is much work to be done, Novant Health is focused on the above pillars to ensure population health drives to better wellness in our communities. We are deliberately designing care around the patient and complementing our established work in patient-centered medical homes.
The U.S. spends more money on healthcare than any developed nation, yet people in those other countries live longer. Through population health management we hope to eliminate waste, reduce the disease burden and increase our quality of years and healthy life.