Listening to Population Health at Jefferson


Associate Dean Billy Oglesby (left) with Dean Nash

We recently  hosted a luncheon on our campus for everyone across the Jefferson enterprise – clinicians, administrators, and others – who have participated in any of our educational programs… the week-long Population Health Academy, our online transcriptable certificates, and of course, our Master’s degrees.  The luncheon gave us an informal, social opportunity to listen to our audience.  We wanted to hear from our students, especially with those with whom we work every day, about their view of population health and how we may continue to play a role implementing the vision of population health across the Jefferson enterprise. It was an eye-opening experience for me, and very interesting.

What did I learn?  Specifically, I learned that despite spending tens of millions of dollars on implementing EPIC, in both the ambulatory and inpatient settings, we still have a long way to go.  I saw, with my own eyes, that colleagues  across the enterprise make new friends with promises to help one another extract important data from the EPIC system.  I have a feeling that the data is all in there, but it is just a real challenge to bridge the silos to communicate with one another.  I also learned that our colleagues from the Kennedy Health System, soon to be a part of the overall Jefferson family, are way ahead of the game as a new member of a CMS Accountable Health Community.

The luncheon proved that we can learn from our own colleagues who share a passion for improving the health of the population.  We were heartened by the overwhelmingly positive response to our public announcement of the creation of another new Master’s degree program.  Population Health Intelligence, led by our very own Dr. Drew Harris, will equip students with knowledge of population health and the skills to collect, organize, analyze and disseminate data, and the ability to lead organizations and systems to act on those insights.  The audience was very receptive to this new program and felt it was an important new expansion of our work.

Although it’s typically in short supply, the time we spend listening to one another is of great value.  We should do more of it, especially when it comes to population health.  We – and our patients – reap tremendous benefits when we share information and insights with one another.  I look forward to more opportunities to connect with our colleagues across the enterprise as we work to improve the lives of those we serve.

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