Care coordination leads as biggest challenge for hospitals pursuing population health management

More than two-thirds of hospitals and health systems already have population health management programs in place to address readmissions, acute care and patient education, and more than half have programs to support patients with chronic health conditions, according to a healthcare leadership survey by HIMSS Media on behalf of Royal Philips. However, care coordination — a fundamental element of effective population health management — persists as a top challenge for healthcare organizations.

The survey was comprised of responses from 105 healthcare IT leaders from hospitals or integrated delivery networks. When asked where they planned to allocate resources in the near future, 52.5 percent of respondents said mobile wellness monitoring, 46.5 percent said aging well and 45.5 percent said home monitoring devices were their top priorities.

Nearly a quarter of respondents — 23.5 percent — said care coordination is the biggest challenge their organization is facing in their effort to achieve effective population health management. Other challenges noted include financial investment (indicated by 21.4 percent of respondents) and data management (18.4 percent).

Half of respondents said they plan to use cloud-based technology in big data analytics, with additional investment plans focused on managed application deployment (41.9 percent of respondents), clinical data storage (39 percent) and health information exchanges (39 percent). The majority of respondents said their existing population health management investment focus on HIEs, telehealth systems and analytics.

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