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Electronic health records and related health information technology have cleared the shelves of paper charts for many providers, giving them new tools to improve the health of patient populations, such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as one patient at a time.

Through its rigorous data analyses, Better Health Partnership has been a leader in identifying strategies among its member health provider organizations and sharing them so that other health care practices can improve – and accelerate the pace of improvement in Northeast Ohio.

At Better Health, we collect, analyze and publicly report data on nationally endorsed and locally vetted measures of recommended care on diabetes, heart failure and high blood pressure, which take a toll on the health of our population. These metrics include the well-known public health problems of obesity and smoking, which further compromise the health of people with these conditions.

We know that medical care accounts for about 10% of health outcomes, and that genetic, social and environmental factors together play a much larger role. Income, education, race and place are among the factors that influence health of populations. The expansion of Medicaid in Ohio and new payment reform strategies such as Accountable Care Organizations have brought increased attention to population health management and a search for new ways to influence health outside of the doctor’s office.