Population Health Learning Collaborative (PopHLC) is a resource for people striving to improve population health in the communities they serve. The initial focus will be on the materials, tools, and techniques to enhance some of the foundational practices for improving community health—assessments and collaborative strategic plans. PopHLC will provide opportunities to share what’s working, best practices, and information about innovative technologies which support practical improvements in community health.
The PopHLC will not focus on medical treatment protocols, medication research or other clinical care topics, but will rather focus on the processes and tools for collaboration among many different stakeholders in addressing prevention, social determinants of health, and care that extends beyond the walls of healthcare providers.
Conducting Health Assessments
There are a growing array of assessments required to address community health needs and the social determinants of health. Non-profit hospitals are required to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs), local health departments seeking accreditation are required to conduct Community Health Assessments (CHAs). Some communities are doing Population Health Assessments (PHAs). There is significant overlap in how these terms are used and there is little value in trying to differentiate among terms. It is more valuable to accelerate the adoption of the most promising practices. There is also value in creating approaches and examples of how to integrate the many other community assessments done by banks, housing organizations, philanthropic leaders or others in communities. PopHLC will help share the understanding and adoption of new sources of data, processes, types of analysis, structure of information, pathways for cross-sector collaboration and more.
Developing and Implementing Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs)
After doing assessments, the organizations and coalitions working to improve community (or population) health typically develop some sort of strategy or plan—often called a Community Health Improvement Plan or CHIP. CHIPs capture our best intentions but often fall short in implementation and in getting the results we seek. PopHLC’s goal is to advance the practices, techniques, structure, theory, templates, tools, and technologies for improving the development and implementation of CHIPs. PopHLC shares practical, do-able strategies for going from a plan to implementation. It’s focus is on delivering the HOW.
Promising Technologies to Improve Community Health
Who has the time or money to research the latest technologies? Which are promising and what are the pitfalls? We all know that technology can be a huge help except for when it isn’t. There are many new tools to advance work in population health but how to know which ones to use? PopHLC will showcase promising technologies and give examples of how they have been used in communities to advance population health. Many of these are open source (free!) Some cost money but reap savings in the long run.
How will we facilitate learning?
As more people and organizations join in our effort, the options for learning will likely expand, but initially, we’re focusing on four primary pathways to share information and accelerate learning.
Annual Virtual Workshop
The virtual workshop will be held on May 23, 2019. These will not be major conferences with a scattering of breakout sessions and speakers but more local gatherings which focus on training, knowledge sharing, and exercises to equip participants with skill development to enhance population health efforts. These workshops, conducted with a combination of webinars and web-conference calls, will be ideal for groups of people from multiple sectors in a community to attend and accelerate their efforts to work together to address complex population health issues. It is usually not possible for a large group of community stakeholders to fly to some city and all learn together. This model will leverage technology to allow community coalition members to get a full-day conference experience right in their own community, and by learning together (and having discussions together over the course of the day), they will be better positioned to agree on actions to move forward.
The website will provide an abundance of valuable (and free) resources, such as white papers, recorded webinars, videos, links to resource hubs, and organized links to relevant websites that others have created. It will also link to other resource hubs.
Starting in June 2019 we will host monthly, one-hour webinars that feature one technique or topic, one case study, and one featured technology. These webinars, which will be free during 2019, will help keep population health leaders inspired and aware of ideas, tools, and innovation they can adopt to improve efforts in their communities.
One of the benefits of participating in the PopHLC is the opportunity to connect with people who can advance your work in addressing population health issues. Part of that networking will involve connecting people with existing social media platforms (like https://community.healthdoers.org/, https://www.100mlives.org/join/#100mlivescommunity and https://hub.nic-us.org/). We don’t need to create another competing social media platform. We will work to systematically connect people who can work together in ways that will enhance each of their efforts by combining them in ways that create far more inspiring examples of success than if they were working independently.
Who is Behind the Population Health Learning Collaborative?
The PopHLC is being launched by a multi-sector coalition of organizations that believe that there are many ways that the topics we will be focusing on can be improved. The founding organizations include the Public Health Research Institute, InsightFormation, Inc., Streetwyze, Health Equity Analytics Lab, Impact4Health, and PE Jarris Health & Recreation, LLC. If you as an individual or organization would like to get involved and support these efforts to improve these key drivers of population health, we invite you to reach out and possibly join us. Contact us at info@ImprovePopHealth.org