May/June 2017 Issue
Editor's Note: Care Coordination
According to Wellcentive, a population health management division of Philips, population health management "is the aggregation of patient data across multiple health information technology resources, the analysis of that data into a single, actionable patient record, and the actions through which care providers can improve both clinical and financial outcomes." According to our cover story, health care providers are using the data analytics of population health management for informed clinical decision making in the delivery of preventive care and facilitating the integration of behavioral and primary care services. And social workers are playing an increasingly important role.
As experts in care coordination, along with face-to-face client work, experienced social workers are also assuming senior leadership roles in health care institutions and health technology companies. According to Susan C. Westgate, MBA, MSW, LCSW-C, a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore, "Health care systems have long struggled with trying to make fragmented care and clinical pathways more efficient." She believes that social workers' skills can and should be applied to help resolve these issues. "Social workers have significant knowledge about the structural and process barriers that discourage efficiency and consequently raise costs. So social workers being part of the planning, execution, and evaluation of these programs is critical."
We hope you enjoy our cover story that presents another example of many roles that social workers are playing in health care, technology, and business.