Caravan Health has a large caution sign for healthcare organizations that are moving toward population health management: Don’t look to your physicians to manage population health.
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Caravan Health has worked with some 14,000 clinicians in developing population health programs. From that experience, Caravan’s executive team, led by Lynn Barr, CEO & Founder, have a common-sense perspective. The primary role of physicians is to improve quality of care. Distract from that–particularly with the massive data management required with population health delivery–and you put your program in jeopardy.
However, that’s not to say the care team relinquishes leadership in population health management. Far from it. Caravan Health recommends that health systems make nurses “the core” of a population health management program.
“…for healthcare organizations moving to population health: Don’t look to your physicians to manage population health….make nurses ‘the core’ of a population health management program.”
Anna Loengard, MD, Caravan Health’s Chief Medical Officer, is an enthusiastic advocate of “empowering” nurses in the population health delivery model. As she explains, population health nurses can lead prevention, wellness, and chronic disease management services. Nurses can be involved in billing for population health management services. Their enhanced profile can help create a more team-based environment with physicians. All of these nurse roles contribute to more profitable and sustainable population health management programs.
As part of its own services, Caravan offers training to nurses in these population health management opportunities and needs. Therein, a valuable reminder: like all areas of healthcare, tools and knowledge are essential to the success of population health management.
Coming up at Congress, Caravan’s Lynn Barr will present on finding success as a regional hospital through population health and collaboration.