Creating a Healthier Future asked Catrina Funk, M.D., vice president of medical affairs in McKesson’s Connected Care & Analytics division, about the connection between advanced data analytics and population health.

Catrina Funk
Catrina Funk, MD, McKesson Connected Care & Analytics

CAHF: Define population health and its connection to healthcare costs and quality of care?
FUNK: Population health is an approach to health that shifts the focus beyond the individual level of clinical and preventative medicine. It takes into account the health status of a community as a whole by measuring health outcomes and their determinants, and it applies this resulting knowledge to develop and implement interventions to improve health and well-being. Through an integrated, proactive approach to population health management, providers and payers can reduce medical costs while at the same time increase quality outcomes.

CAHF: What is the most important ingredient in a successful population health management strategy?
FUNK: Population health must leverage patient data to analyze disease patterns and predict financial risk. This data should compare outcomes against evidenced based quality guidelines, identify care gaps and facilitate care delivery. The sharing of this information across the continuum of care also improves communication and collaboration among providers that can result in direct reductions in utilization and associated costs.

CAHF: What role do advanced data analytics play in making that strategy work and succeed?
FUNK: Sophisticated data analysis and predictive modeling tools enable providers to identify those patients at highest risk for tailored care intervention. It also allows the identification of clinical variation, informing clinicians of their performance outcomes compared to their peers.


Have your own question for Dr. Funk? Attend an expert chat with Catrina at HIMSS14 in Orlando