Public health and population health share a core set of components: a community-level approach to patient care, epidemiology and statistics, as well as program development, testing and evaluation. A robust healthcare system should include all these components — carried out in clinical care settings and all levels of healthcare administration — in order to build healthy communities, prevent illness and injury, and effectively treat patients.
Population health is practiced at different levels as part of caring for different groups of people. For example, practitioners may focus on:
- Jurisdictional and geographic populations, the traditional setting for governmental public health departments
- Organizational populations, at worksites or corporate campuses
- Membership-based populations, such as an insured population of a healthcare system or the members of an association
The Value of Preventive Medicine
While the United States spends over $10,000 per capita on health care services, more than any other nation by a large margin, the returns on investment are low, and our system operates inefficiently. We invest far too little in preventing disease, pay insufficient attention to social determinants of health and have misaligned priorities between payers and providers.
In order to address these inefficiencies, healthcare systems are looking to invest in population-based preventive services and are searching for health care professionals with the skills needed to transform their system.
ACPM is empowering preventive medicine physicians through continuing education and leadership opportunities to become population health strategists in care settings across the country. These physicians can help meet the growing demand for well-rounded leaders with expertise in population health and prevention to transform our healthcare system.
ACPM is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a comprehensive Population Health Integration Curriculum for preventive medicine physicians and health care professionals. The program will equip medical professionals and health systems with the skills necessary to develop care strategies tailored to the specific needs of their patient populations and foster a culture of prevention.
ACPM has launched two 1-1.5 hour CME/MOC courses for the curriculum that are available through ACPM's learning platform. The preliminary courses will provide:
- An overview of population health in an era of transforming healthcare systems
- Population-level strategies to address social determinants of health and prevent non-communicable diseases
Health care is constantly evolving and so will this curriculum. New components and coursework will be added in the future to keep this course up-to-date with the latest developments in population health.