The Growth Channel

2 smart ways to use data to prove your population health work's value

by Sebastian Beckmann

The future of population health is uncertain. In a changing regulatory environment, we're recommending a pivot to "no-regrets strategies," especially around consumer-oriented services. But that's not to say you should put your population health initiatives on hold. Rather, you'll want to use data to track them effectively in order to realize value and secure growth.

North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA) of the Hudson Valley has followed this best practice through its partnership with Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH), a 192-bed acute care hospital in Hudson, NY. Together, they built CMH's Orthopedic Wellness Center, led by Dr. Chris Gorczynski.

This perioperative wellness program for total joint patients manages patients' stress by guiding them through a dietician consult, massage, meditation session, and pre-surgical education class. The concept is that these population health investments will improve surgical outcomes and overall health.

To test that theory and prove program value, NAPA of the Hudson Valley keeps track of key metrics. Read on to learn more about the program's data tracking, along with two takeaways for how you can use data to secure future program development.

1. Track key measures to realize growth

Patient attitudes

CMH Orthopedic Wellness Center collects data on patients' attitudes toward the program, tying performance measures directly to issues patients care about. Stakeholders ask patients about their likelihood to recommend the program to friends and family—and 90% have responded that they are likely to do so. This favorable response rate shows the program's potential to boost growth: We've found that recommendations from family and friends are the top driver of patient self-referrals to specialists.

Patient outcomes

The program also collects outcomes data that ties directly to the patient experience. Those data have shown a significant drop in perioperative pain scores without relying on additional pain medication, allowing stakeholders to prove an impact on a key patient satisfaction issue—one we've found plays a pivotal role in word-of-mouth recommendations.

2. Use data to secure future program development

In addition to helping you realize value today, this partnership shows that these metrics can set the course for future program strategy and help attract and retain more patients in the future.

By collecting data on patient likelihood to recommend, you can test whether your program is having an impact on consumerist patients. Similarly, specific patient outcomes metrics can help you target your efforts at key areas that really make a difference to patient satisfaction.

NAPA of the Hudson Valley and Columbia Memorial Health's experience with the program shows that a focus on wellness and population health initiatives can mean growth for your organization—and shows how important data tracking can be to prove the value of your program, whether for patient outcomes or for revenue growth.

We asked consumers what they want from health care—here's what they said

We surveyed thousands of consumers across the United States to better understand those expectations and learn what drives their health care decisions.

Here, we’ve compiled the top findings from our three consumer choice surveys to help you attract patients for on-demand services, retain patients in primary care, and win self-referrals in specialty care.