Part I of the Population Health series introduced the concept of Population Health (PH) and how PH is being applied in healthcare. We’re interested in how Population Health can have an impact on the professional development of medical professionals.
Currently, the data needed for Population Health is most likely to be found in EHRs maintained by health providers and, increasingly, in clinical data registries (CDRs) maintained by professional societies and boards. Actual PH analytics may be accessible to physicians through the EHR, CDR, or other tools that might create useful views into that data.
We’d like to see these data sources connect more easily with online learning tools to provide more effective and efficient Performance Improvement programs for physicians. The goal for Population Health and CME is to create a new education and professional development strategy that facilitates better outcomes for patients and reimbursement based on performance, not the volume of patients or procedures.
Currently, CourseStage HEALTH is being used by thousands of clinicians for CE. By providing those clinicians with education clearly tied to population health analytics, we could create a Clinician Education Program that is more focused on individual physicians’ professional development. Clinician-facing views of population health data in EHRs and CDRs could link out to an online learning platform. The learning platform would be able to track clinician’s education gaps and provide an education program specific to the physician’s learning needs. On-demand CME and PD could even act as a Clinical Support Tool.
This integration of EHRs, CDRs, and online learning tools will save time for busy clinicians by helping them to meet CME and MOC requirements while they seek out information needed to improve their practice. Online learning tools should use emerging certification interoperability standards to connect to certification board platforms or provide learning portfolio management tools to reduce the time clinicians currently spend on self-reporting MOC and CE activities.
Population Health is not just creating a community of people that are grouped together by their health status. The merging of functionality among EHRs, CDRs, and learning platforms is also creating communities of doctors who are able to network and pass information along to one another. This powerful intelligence generated by information sharing will become a vital tool to the future of healthcare. Eventually the inflow and outflow of medical information from the Population Health database will not only better educate the medical professional, but the patient as well.
Come look for us at the IHI 28th Annual National Forum – The Health Care Improvement Conference: