Population health management: Review of concepts and definitions

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Abstract

Purpose

The terms population health, population health improvement, and population health management are discussed.

Summary

A key concept in defining population health activities is clearly delineating the population(s) of focus. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement's (IHI's) Triple Aim Initiative uses the term population health management to describe the work by healthcare organizations to improve outcomes for individual patients to maximize population health. The National Academy of Medicine favors the term population health improvement and uses this term to describe work to identify and improve aspects of or contributors to population health, expanding the focus beyond traditional healthcare delivery systems. As organizations like IHI and the National Academy of Medicine continue to focus on population health, the terms and definitions used to describe these activities will continue to evolve.

Conclusion

The use of consistent, clear definitions for population health activities is critical to the practice of pharmacy and healthcare delivery.

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