Population Health Management: An Introduction

Population Health Management is a term that people in the medical industry often use to denote large masses of people who share common characteristics of location and social conditions, and of course, common biologics. The Population-Health Management ratio is one of the most important to the medical industry because it allows doctors and hospitals to approximately gauge the health care specifics that is needed for the people living in a particular area. This Population-Health Management ratio is mainly dependent on the patient records that are currently already with these hospitals and institutions. These patients, whose records are already with the agencies are analyzed to provide hospitals with an estimate of the population-health trends that are currently happening in the society around them.

Mapping population health: The Tool For Better Mass Healthcare And Research

When researchers and doctors have dealt with the idea of targeted medicine, they are always leaning in the direction of cancer treatments. People within the medical industry have been actively targeting this disease, and have tried to find a cure to this illness that costs thousands of lives every year. However, while doing so, other diseases and disorders have taken a backbench, and have not been developed as much as cancer treatment over the past few years.

Related: Population health and pharmacy informatics

Because of this, doctors have never really leaned towards the system of developing a specific treatment that targets the patient holistically. Currently, medicine works in a way whereby people can be given medication for one individual disease, but no pill exists to focus everything in the body. It, of course, is not possible to cure the entire population of the world with one single magic pill, by there is a possibility to divide subsections of society into genetic groups and present them with treatments that would target them holistically. While it is a problematic direction for the medical industry to step into, it is by no means not possible entirely. With more researchers slowly making their way into this industry, they are now beginning to see that this future of population-centric medicine is indeed on its way to becoming a reality.

Medical Institutions and Population Health Management

But even if hospitals and doctors have the information about Population-Health Management, what can they do with it? For one, it enables them to provide better resources for the patients who are coming to them. If a specific contagious disease or disorder is being transmitted among the population of an area, doctors, who get hold of this information will be more equipped to deal with this situation, and they will be able to provide better treatment to those who come to them. They would also be able to estimate how many patients are going to go to the hospitals, and how much medicines they would need to have ready to treat the populous.

Not Only For Infrastructure

But Population-Health Management is not only related to logistics and the technical aspects of medicine. It defines the way doctors approach the disorder and come out with treatments for them. The best instance of this was during the H1N1 crisis that was taking place all over the world. A large number of patients reporting to hospitals with symptoms of this disease pushed researchers and doctors to find a vaccination much faster than what they would have if there were only one or two patients in hospitals reporting this illness. Population-Health Management can be used in an incredibly positive way to streamline innovation in the medical industry and bring better treatments to patients.

Government Funded Research And Analysis

Most of the Population-Health Management ratios are calculated by government agencies and rarely by private organizations themselves. A large number of research grants that are used for the development of treatment and medicines are gained from the government itself and other allied agencies. Often, medical institutions choose to develop the field of oncology as the government used to provide bigger grants to people who were within this area of study. This is however changed after the National Institute of Health decided to start an effort to boost research in other fields of medicine. By investing a total of $215 into different drug companies, the organization plans to pave the way for better medical development that could help the populous at large, and provide them with effective treatments for a variety of targeted diseases and disorders. Most of the money that was channeled into these drug companies for research was concerning the field of immunotherapy. Currently, we are living in the dark ages of autoimmune conditions, with few treatments out there for people diagnosed with them. With the number of people diagnosed with autoimmune disorders on the rise, there is a lot of scope in the field, which is why focusing on this aspect of medicine is a good direction to be stepping into.

Research efforts

The University of Michigan recently released a statement claiming that they were going to be an institution that is working towards primarily targeted therapies that would work on large scale populations rather than focused groups. They aim to change the medical industry as a whole and bring about reform on every level to be more efficient in the way patients are given treatments. This improvement goes right from the highest chain of command, to the lowest. The basis for the research was so that doctors could provide their patients with a broader range of treatment options that would work, depending on varying factors that play into the Population-Health Management ratio.  According to this ideology,  things like exposure, living environmental and social factors all would contribute to the kind of treatment that patients receive, making their options a lot more targeted to their specific needs.

The University of Michigan is not the only research facility that is moving towards this direction. Several institutions are now following in their footsteps of precision healthcare to be able to provide targeted treatments and a wider range of choices to the people receiving them.

Furthering Opportunities

If precision testing is used to be able to find and provide treatments to patients, the field of genetic testing will be forced to develop to keep up with the times and the developments that are taking place. Since genetic tests will eventually be one of the primary determinants of the kind of treatment that patients are likely to receive, the technology that would be used to screen patients would have to drastically improve to be able to detect inconsistencies in the data. These developments will however not only happen in the medical industry but will also extend to the IT industry, as they are the ones who will significantly contribute to developing the mapping and scanning technology. This will also improve the job scenario all over the world as a new sector with healthcare IT jobs will make its way to the population, opening up new portals for people interested in the field.  Having more healthcare IT jobs will in turn help develop the technology faster, to make it more efficient for the medical professionals using them. In short, it creates a loop where researchers need better technology, and the need for better technology leads to more jobs. More jobs lead to improved technology as a result of collective knowledge, leading to betterment of treatments provided, which causes researchers to push further to become more efficient, starting the process all over again.

Aiming For Target Profits

Targeting masses of the population, rather than just a few people with specific diseases can prove incredibly beneficial for the industry. By finding standard treatments for a variety of conditions, the number of people seeking that therapy would efficient go up, bringing in more profits to the company putting out those procedures. There is a reason why pharmaceutical companies are heading in this direction, and it is not only to be able to provide treatment to more patients but also because it puts them in a better financial situation.

Population-Health Management To Understand Trends

Often, people are at a high risk of certain infections and disorders owing to a number of socio-economic factors. By paying close attention to the Population-Health Management index, companies that are researching new treatments will be able to identify what things they need to find cures for, and which portions of the population are more susceptible to this kind of diseases and disorders. This information is a good representation of the entire community, or at least a close estimate, which is considered to be extremely valuable information to research companies who are looking for new diseases and disorders to tackle. This report also enables researchers and doctors to be able to obtain accurate information about the effects that conditions have on a larger population, rather than just one targeted patient who has been diagnosed. Having a larger population as the sample size allows research companies to have a clearer idea of the treatments that are being given to patients and the effectiveness of them on the populous. Social determinants are considered to be one of the big factors contributing to the medical trends that we see today, which is why medical institutions place so much stress on understanding them before seeking a viable means for treatment.