Population Health Management (PHM) is a valuable technique and key priority for the NHS. It can be used across complex health and care systems to maximise health from available resources and address inequalities in a transparent and evidence-driven way. The Health Economics Unit delivered bespoke training to help decision makers and analysts understand how they can use PHM in their organisations to create positive impact for patients.
For people without a technical background Population Health Management can seem like a complicated analytical technique beyond their comprehension. However, the concepts behind PHM are relevant at every level in complex health systems and can lead to impactful change when understood. The Health Economics Unit, in partnership with the Midlands Decision Support Network (MDSN), aimed to empower both system leaders and analysts with a solid foundational knowledge of PHM and an understanding of how they can employ it to better improve their populations’ health.
To support this in the Midlands, the HEU designed and delivered a comprehensive introduction to Population Health Management, accessible for all levels. The training course was aimed at showcasing the potential benefits of PHM, as well as explaining the different techniques available and providing tools to help participants use PHM to improve their decision quality. With separate modules for technical and non-technical attendees, the courses were opened up to a range of health and care workers within complex health and care systems in the Midlands and beyond, with many places taken by decision makers from Integrated Care Systems and Boards.
Delivering Population Health Management Training for all levels
In collaboration with the MDSN, the HEU designed a bespoke training course covering the fundamentals of PHM and specific areas of interest.
- The sessions, developed and delivered by PHM experts from both the Health Economics Unit (HEU) and Oxford Brookes University, were designed to be interactive and featured real-world examples to bring the content to life.
- The HEU chose to create two slightly different training streams, to cater for both technical and non-technical audiences.
For non-technical stakeholders the HEU offered six interactive, virtual training modules covering the basics of PHM, working across systems, segmentation, risk stratification, impactibility and evaluation. This ensured all attendees gained a basic understanding of the principles and techniques available throughout the PHM cycle and where they could be applied for maximum impact.
- For the more technical audience, the HEU offered an additional five sessions, providing knowledge on coding and statistics and covering a range of techniques to perform segmentation, risk stratification, impactibility and evaluation – to help improve decision quality.
- The trainers were experts in analytics, data science, health economics and population health management
- The sessions were open to anyone working in health and care across the 11 intelligence functions and NHSE region within the midlands. The courses were advertised through the MDSN website, social media and local newsletters.
Health workers inspired and educated
After attending the course all attendees were able to understand both the potential of, and context for, using PHM in their organisations and the soft skills needed to make this happen.
- Attendance was high throughout the course, reaching nearly 100 people for some sessions and exceeding that in later cohorts of the training.
- The training program has attracted diverse participants from various roles within the healthcare sector, enhancing inter-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration. The diverse participant pool also allowed for valuable exchange of perspectives, which further enriched the learning experience
- The course was so well-received that it has been recommissioned for a third, and then fourth cohort in 2023.