As hospitals and health systems continue to grapple with COVID-19, population health should be part of every organization’s strategy. Having been on the provider and payer side of healthcare for more than 20 years, I’m bullish on the move to whole person care. Today’s technology has made it easier to gather a variety of data about a patient, giving a more wholesome view of who they are and the hurdles they face. At Hackensack Meridian Health(HMH)our population health strategy is focused on providing patients the right care, at the right time, and in the right place. If we execute that approach successfully, we ultimately improve our patient’s quality of care while lowering medical costs.
Reenvisioning the referral
For years, referrals have been a way to provide a patient the next level of clinical care. What if we looked at referrals through a broader lens and saw referrals as a way to address a patient’s other needs like housing or food insecurity. These social determinants of health affect a person’s overall wellbeing and could prevent them from achieving their optimal health. This is why HMH began a community health program to tackle social determinants of health and drive whole-person care.