HealthcarePapers

HealthcarePapers 13(3) October 2013 : 53-57.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2014.23683
Commentary

Innovators and Early Adopters of Population Health in Healthcare: Real and Present Opportunities for Healthcare–Public Health Collaboration

Tai M. Huynh and Deborah Cohen

Abstract

The population health approach – which has long been a cornerstone ideology for those in public health – is increasingly embraced by various actors in the healthcare sector, including but not limited to those in primary healthcare. There is much to be gained from public health's involvement in these early efforts, which could enable the pursuit of approaches that integrate both individual- and population-level interventions. These collaborative efforts could serve as the initial building blocks for transformative change, provided that others follow suit. Lessons from the study of the diffusion of innovation teach us that new ideas can spread or wither in unpredictable ways. However, the odds of success would be improved if we could (1) make population health concepts less complex and more actionable, (2) socialize early adopter activities and make them more observable to others so that they could help model the way, (3) invest in evaluation so that the benefits of the approach could be more clearly demonstrated and (4) address social and cultural barriers to adoption through opinion leaders within respective professional communities.

 

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