Defining Population Health: Leveraging advisory board members’ perspectives to identify health administration curriculum content


Current healthcare reform practices are driving the entire healthcare delivery system toward a population health approach. Health administration programs, both undergraduate and graduate, play an important role in training future leaders of healthcare organizations to engage and thrive in this dynamic environment. The purpose of this research was to engage U.S. healthcare leaders in a dialog on population health and to identify essential concepts appropriate for healthcare administration students' education. As advisory board members represent industry leaders who will employ future graduates, their expertise and suggestions help inform programs on both health management competency and skill-development opportunities. Focus groups comprised of advisory board members from five U.S. health administration programs were conducted. Qualitative analysis of the focus group discussions was performed and themes identified by a consensus process. Results showed convergence on five major population health themes. Study findings provide a practitioner-informed definition for population health and validated recommendations for health management curriculum content via a population health perspective. The identification of key topic areas serves to inform program directors and faculty as they develop knowledge content necessary to best prepare future health administrators in this new population health paradigm.


Health Management and Policy

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Journal of Health Administration Education


AUPHA (Association of University Programs in Health Administration)

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