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The Future is Now: Population Health

We have wrapped up our Population Health track in The Future is Now Webinar Series. These sessions highlight specific initiatives designed to support a segment of our membership. The common thread through the examples – remote monitoring for diabetes, mental health, and cancer care – is how the new ways of delivery care are made possible by our integrated model.

woman using laptop to video chat with physician

With remote glucose monitoring, a care team is working to support diabetic members, reaching out in response to the monitoring data that is being automatically updated to our electronic health record. This data is available to the full care team. In addition to diabetes, Kaiser Permanente is also using remote monitoring for hypertension, wellness, and maternal and child health.  The silver lining with the pandemic is that Kaiser Permanente found new ways to care for patients, and patients were eager to try more convenient forms of care.  Choice is still with the patients if they opt to have an in-person visit, rather than rely on telehealth.

Further Reading:
COVID-19 pandemic spurs evolution in diabetes care management

Dr. Martin and Dr. Kolevska mentioned the need for “declickification.”  With every new technology, there is the potential to add more steps for care teams to access these new forms of care or new clinical pathways. The goal is always to reduce the number of clicks in the medical record and make these new modes of care as easy as possible for our teams.  Dr. Kolevska mentioned that for cancer care pathways, there need to be fewer than 5 clicks (though some often start with 28 clicks).

A thread of questions throughout the sessions focused on prevention.  Patricia deSa mentioned how behavioral medical specialists are embedded into primary care teams to provide real time assessment and counseling during a primary care visit.  Enabling access to mental health care for depression and anxiety in primary care has the potential to reach more people who otherwise would not seek care for their mental health. Dr. Martin also discussed a new text program that helps patients monitor their blood glucose levels and remain in a healthy range. Dr. Kolevska shared that 42% of cancers are preventable, and there is an increased focus on screening and prevention.

Equity is also addressed in all population health topics, in how we do outreach to include patients from all demographics, in ensuring that our clinical trials match the population of the United States, and in having relevant patient education materials in multiple languages. 

Further Reading:
Expanded lung screening rules provide more equitable care

We have learned so much as we try these new modes of care, and we continue to focus on equitable inclusion, increased participation, and creating better health outcomes.  To access these recordings or join future webinars on primary care, big data in healthcare and Kaiser Permanente’s latest health care innovations, register today for The Future is Now webinar series.

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