Effective population health management is rooted in shared information—from the trends impacting certain clinical conditions to new insights that enhance patient care. To underscore our commitment to fostering meaningful improvements and better outcomes, Partners HealthCare recently convened two symposia focused on bringing insights to the fore.
A Close Look at the Aging Brain
The first, held on June 8, focused on a health risk unavoidable in its pervasiveness: the aging brain. As people live longer, the impact of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is rising epidemically, as are its associated costs, expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2050. To address the cross-population issue, the symposium—co-sponsored by the Partners’ Center for Population Health Behavioral Health Integration and High-Risk Care Management (iCMP) teams—gathered experts to examine the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with cognitive disorders.
“The economic, physical health, and emotional toll of Alzheimer’s dementia on both patients and caregivers is profound,” said Brent Forester, MD, MSc, Medical Director for Behavioral Health at Center for Population Health and McLean Hospital’s Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry, who served as Chair of the Planning Committee for this event. “Our symposium highlighted opportunities for early recognition and treatment of dementia and supporting primary care clinicians in this effort.”
Discussions featured experts from across Partners who took a broad look at cognitive impairment from both the clinician and the patient points of view, and focused specifically on associated issues such as legal and ethical considerations, prevention, management of behavioral symptoms, and practical considerations around caregiving. Attendees left with a heightened sense of the clinical issues stemming from dementia and related cognitive disorders that could be addressed in their everyday work in the primary care setting.
Shared Insights Drive Innovation, Improved Outcomes
On June 11, the Center for Population Health Research Symposium offered a forum for shared lessons learned, innovations uncovered, and successes achieved by population health teams across the Partners network. Poster sessions highlighted key areas of research in quality improvement, with winners selected for their transformational achievements.
All told, attendees of both sessions noted the importance of breaking down the traditional clinical silos in order to move population health initiatives forward. “Our hope and goal is to reaffirm our commitment to what makes Partners HealthCare so special,” said Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Population Health Officer. “We are an organization that brings the best of research, education, community service, and clinical care together in service of the patients we care for.”