Expansion of Coproduction in Health Care as a Population Health Management Approach


Depending on the stakeholder, population health may be defined differently. Health care providers may view population health as clinical medicine and case management. Community health workers may view population health as a complement to public health that is focused on disease prevention and health promotion. The individual may view population health as the activity of local government and enacted health policies. No one stakeholder is entirely incorrect in their view of what population health entails. Kindig and Stoddart propose that population health be defined as “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.”1 The population may be defined per the stakeholder. For example, the population may be geographic regions, such as neighborhoods or hospital service areas, or other groups such as residents, employees, prisoners, or patients with chronic disease, among others. “Many determinants of health, such as medical care systems, the social environment, and the physical environment, have their biological impact on individuals in part at a population level.”1 Thus, effectively managing the health of populations must include the integration of services provided by the public health system, community-based organizations, and the health care system so that the root causes of illness are addressed at the population level, as opposed to treating only the symptoms of disease or illness in individuals.

Consequently, how do we accomplish this goal of improving the health of populations when multiple social determinants of health potentially influence many of the health conditions experienced by individuals living in a community? Effectively answering this question will require an expansion of the traditional model of coproducing health to go beyond the services provided by the hospital to also include those services provided by the community. Figure 1 illustrates the interplay among these crucial systems by which the coproduction of health concept is expanded to consider the role for the community's influence on a population's health.


Health Management and Policy

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Population Health Management


Mary Ann Liebert

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