Populations, Population Health, and the Evolution of Population Management: Making Sense of the Terminology in US Health Care Today
In the years since IHI first began developing the concept of the Triple Aim, what started as an ambitious ideal for system transformation has become a rallying cry at the policy level, a mission and strategy for many health systems, and a burning platform for new collaborations within communities. The idea that the successful health and health care organizations of the future will be those that can simultaneously deliver excellent quality of care, at lower total costs, while improving the health of their population is taking hold. However, as IHI has pilot-tested the Triple Aim with nearly 150 organizations and coalitions around the world, and watched the natural diffusion of the framework within health care, it has become evident that some of the terminology used to talk about this concept needs clarification. What does IHI mean when we use terms such as “population,” “population health,” and “population management”?
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