Promote Population Health Management with NextGen EHR
Feb 13, 2021Promote Population Health Management with NextGen EHR

Health care payers expect your practice to track and improve population health. The population health management tools in your NextGen EHR can help.

Improving your patient population's health requires investments outside of regular office visits. NextGen's tools can help you reach your patients and engage them in their own care. Focusing on your population's health will increase your quality scores, improve health outcomes, and help you earn bonus payments.

Here is how your NextGen EHR can promote population health management.

What is Population Health?

Population health is the aggregate health of your patient population or your community. Measures of population health give a bird's-eye-view of your patients and your practice. When tracked over time, population health metrics can help you see your practice's aggregate impact on your patients.

Programs to manage population health often focus on patients with chronic conditions or specific social determinants of health. These patients are most likely to face health complications. However, as your practice gains more experience with population health, you can expand your focus to your entire patient population or even your community.

Population health broadens your perspective from the needs of each day's office visits to the needs of your entire community. When your practice focuses on managing population health, you may adjust how you spend your time. For example, managing the health of your entire population may require:

  • An alternative approach to appointment scheduling
  • More time for providers to follow up with patients between visits
  • Proactive outreach to patients with unfilled orders or pending appointments

NextGen EHR Population Health Management Tools

Your NextGen EHR includes add-on, built-in tools to help you manage population health. These include Population Health Analytics, Risk Stratification, and Care Coordination.

Your NextGen EHR is a powerful tool that can provide analytic tools with a depth of knowledge. With population health analytics, you can combine data from patient records with administrative and financial data to see the big picture of your practice. As health care payers shift from volume-based payment to value-based payment, these tools can help you track your performance on population health measures and make targeted improvements.

Your NextGen Population Health also includes algorithms to identify high-risk patients. These risk stratification tools can help you target outreach to patients who most need support. Your EHR can also identify gaps in care for high-risk patients, helping you to improve patient outcomes. This approach can improve your population health metrics by targeting those patients most likely to need health care support.

NextGen Population Health tools can use data from your practice and data that other providers or health systems share with you. These care coordination functions help you see the full scope of your patients' care needs. By combining shared data with your patient records, you can identify care gaps, provide targeted outreach and advice, and improve your patients' health outcomes.

Clinical Decision Support Tools to Improve Population Health

The Clinical Decision Support tools built into your NextGen EHR can also help you manage population health. Unlike the tools described above, these tools are helpful to providers during patient visits. Using Clinical Decision Support can help providers prevent complications or health problems down the road. By focusing on prevention, you can improve the health of your entire patient population.

Clinical Decision Support tools can alert you when a patient is behind on or needs preventive care. Your providers can then incorporate the needed preventive care into the office visit or order necessary tests. This includes broadly applicable preventive care like flu shots and preventive care recommended for specific conditions.

Clinical Decision Support tools can also improve the health of your population by alerting providers to potential prescribing errors or open orders. Your NextGen EHR can automatically flag drug interactions or inaccurate dosing, thus preventing patient complications. It can also help you keep track of orders and results. This helps your practice ensure that labs and tests are complete and that abnormal results come back quickly. These Clinical Decision Support tools can help you make diagnoses faster, manage patients' health more effectively, and prevent errors. 

NextGen Patient Portal as a Population Health Tool

The NextGen Patient Portal lets your patients access their medical records at their convenience. Patients can check for lab results, review care plans, and request prescription refills without calling or visiting your office. By giving patients easy access to their data, you can help engage them in their care. The NextGen Patient Portal also lets patients send secure messages to their providers. Through secure messaging, your providers can help patients manage their health between visits.

Studies have shown that Patient Portals can help improve health outcomes, adherence to care plans, and patient satisfaction. Each of these outcomes improves your overall population health as well. The NextGen Patient Portal can help your practice improve population health between visits without increasing costs.

How TempDev Can Help You Manage Population Health

TempDev's NextGen EHR experts can help track and manage population health. TempDev offers training to help you use NextGen's built-in tools, customization to make NextGen's tools fit your practice, and development to build a personalized population health management system. Here are a few of the templates, dashboards, and reports TempDev has developed to help you track population health:

Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here to get help with managing your population's health in NextGen EHR.