Owning the future of healthcare: How Health Catalyst is improving people’s health with data

Population health may seem like a marathon, but it is hugely beneficial to patient outcomes. Jonas Varnum, vice president of population health strategic services at Health Catalyst, joined host Hilary Kennedy to discuss how to implement population health.

The goal of population health is to create a better system with less waste. Currently, there is a trillion dollars in suboptimal care, which could be improved by 35-50%. Different insurance models, such as commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and others, pose a challenge in the different revenues they generate. Varnum explained, “The only real way to deliver care successfully is to have a scalable, systematic way of how you do population health in different patient populations.”

Implementing population health means a system must respond quickly to countless use cases. They need to know the impact of certain patient populations and ensure they are properly calibrated. This includes examining whether utilization rates for certain services, such as emergency services and telehealth, are appropriate. Population health includes understanding the equity of the patient population. Are patients receiving the right care in the right place at the right time?

Varnum explained how data is transferred to interventions such as care management, direct patient engagement, and quality metrics. Health Catalyst integrates over 250 metrics directly into the EHR. Clinicians can easily access it to meet specific measurement criteria. This reduces administrative work and burnout.

The taking of Varnum? “At the end of the day, what you really need to make sure you’re doing is understanding that after working on this patient population, did it create results?” He added: “The reality is if you actually have a systematic structure then this marathon is a lot easier.”

Visit healthcatalyst.com for case studies and more information on population health or subscribe to the Owning the Future of Healthcare Podcast.

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