Using systems science for population health management in primary care

Yan Li, Nan Kong, Mark A. Lawley, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Population health management is becoming increasingly important to organizations managing and providing primary care services given ongoing changes in health care delivery and payment systems. The objective of this study is to show how systems science methodologies could be incorporated into population health management to compare different interventions and improve health outcomes. Methods: The New York Academy of Medicine Cardiovascular Health Simulation model (an agent-based model) and data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to evaluate a lifestyle program that could be implemented in primary care practice settings. The program targeted Medicare-age adults and focused on improving diet and exercise and reducing weight. Results: The simulation results suggest that there would be significant reductions projected in the proportion of the Medicare-age population with diabetes after the implementation of the proposed lifestyle program for a relatively long term (3 and 5 years). Similar results were found for the subpopulations with high cholesterol, but the proposed intervention would not have a significant effect in the proportion of the population with hypertension over a time period of <5 years. Conclusions: Systems science methodologies can be useful to compare the health outcomes of different interventions. These tools can become an important component of population health management because they can help managers and other decision makers evaluate alternative programs in primary care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-246
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Primary Care and Community Health
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Agent-based modeling
  • Medicare
  • Population health management
  • Primary care
  • Systems science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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