Relevant Thought Pieces – Defining Population Health

In an effort to share relevant news regarding population health, research methods, transparency and other topics related to our core mission, PHII is encouraging members to share interesting articles as part of a new “Relevant Thought Pieces” blog segment. The first of these relevant thought pieces, recommended by Dr. Tom Wilson, is a recent blog post from Health Affairs entitled, ‘What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Population Health?’.

The term “population health” has received a boost in recent years due to initiatives such as the Triple Aim, which includes improving the individual experience of care, reducing per capita cost of care, and improving the health of populations. However, this ubiquitous usage has led to a definition that is sometimes too broad and ambiguous. The article discusses definitions and determinants of population health, the impact of social inequalities, and suggests employing two separate definitions to provide clarity: using population health management or population medicine when referring to patient populations, and reserving the traditional population health definition for geographic populations, which are the concern of public health officials, community organizations, and business leaders.

Do you agree?