This issue brief from the Health Research & Education Trust of the American Hospital Association and the Association for Community Health Improvement highlights the role that hospitals and health systems can have in advancing the third component of the triple aim, improvement in population health. While hospitals have historically viewed their patients as individuals coming to them for discrete procedures and unconnected episodes of care, health care delivery system reform will require hospitals to see their patients as part of a population, a community that they are partly responsible for health improvement outcomes.

This guide builds upon prior American Hospital Association reports that outline a road map for hospitals and care systems to use as they transition to the second curve of population health. Though the extent to which hospitals and care systems engage in population health may vary, a significant shift toward population health initiatives is anticipated in the next three to five years. The tactics described in this guide provide a framework for initiatives that hospitals and care systems could pursue to develop an institutional infrastructure that supports population health.

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