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The Role of Hospitals in Population Health (June 2019)

Findings from National Conversations, Statewide Survey and Local Perspectives

By Tatiana Y. Lin, M.A., Carlie J. Houchen, M.P.H. | June 04, 2019

The Role of Hospitals in Population Health (June 2019)

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Hospitals and health systems are cornerstones of their communities. Not only do they provide care 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, but they also are strong economic engines. Hospitals and health systems keep communities strong, healthy and vibrant.

Now, there is growing interest among hospitals and health systems to expand their focus outside the walls of their institutions to improve population health.

To explore this interest, the Kansas Health Institute recently surveyed hospitals in Kansas and talked with hospital leaders around the state and nation about the role of hospitals and health systems in population health. The study included:

  • A national environmental scan that included a literature review and key-informant interviews with public health institutes and hospitals across the country; and
  • Kansas-specific activities, conducted in collaboration with the Kansas Hospital Association, that included:  
    • Population health discussions and interactive polls conducted in 2018 at six district meetings with Kansas hospitals across the state; and
    • A survey of Kansas hospitals to learn about their population health related activities.

The information gathered during the study was used to develop a new report containing key findings and recommendations. This report could be of interest to hospitals and other stakeholders that partner with hospitals on population health.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.