Guide for Developing an Information Technology Investment Road Map for Population Health Management

Chapter 3: Developing and Gaining Support for a PHM IT Investment Road Map - Step 1

Excerpted from original article published by Population Health Management, copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Guide for Developing an Information Technology Investment Road Map for Population Health Management

Jacquelyn Hunt, PharmD, MS, Richard Gibson, MD, PhD, John Whittington, MD, Kitty Powell, Brad Wozney, MD, Susan Knudson, MA

Many health systems recovering from a massive investment in electronic health records are now faced with the prospect of maturing into accountable care organizations. This maturation includes the need to cooperate with new partners, involve substantially new data sources, require investment in additional information technology (IT) solutions, and become proficient in managing care from a new perspective. This seven-part series, with excerpts drawn from the article originally composed by leading authorities on population health management and enabling IT, will help organizations chart their position on the population health readiness spectrum and enhance their chances for a successful transition from volume-based to value-based care.

For an electronic copy of the journal article in its entirety, please email

Developing and Gaining Supportfor a PHM IT Investment Road Map

With the health care industry in a state of flux, making shrewd IT investment decisions has never been as critical for an organization’s long-term success. Figure 1 depicts a logical, tested process to facilitate PHM IT investment road map creation and prompt stakeholder endorsement. Depending on where an organization is on its PHM, technology, and value-based contracting journey, these tactics may provide a place to start or reinforce existing processes well under way.

FIG. 1: PHM IT investment strategy and deployment cycle. IT, information technology; PHM, population health management.

Step 1. Define the organization’s PHM business strategy

The process starts with an articulation of the organization’s PHM strategy over approximately a 3-year horizon. As clearly as possible, business leaders should summarize the organization’s current state, as well as anticipated PHM and value-based contracting strategy.41 Advanced health care organizations are broadening their services to enhance health and developing wider community-based partnerships. Minimally, a PHM strategy should address the following:

  • Payer and employer market opportunities
  • Provider network requirements
  • Services provided by public health and social service agencies
  • Existing IT infrastructure and data sources
  • Potential for nontraditional health care data sources (eg, public health, social services agencies, consumer purchasing patterns)
  • Existing care process strengths and opportunities based on available cost and quality data
  • Projected outcome of revenue shift from fee-for-service to value-based contracts

This initial step is critical to lay the foundation for creating a PHM IT road map that inspires confidence. This first step also can be leveraged in a parallel change management strategy that will be required to succeed in PHM. Although challenging, most organizations understand the need to engage employed and affiliated providers in the anticipated changes for their practice and/or business. Often overlooked is the opportunity to formally engage the IT, informatics, and business intelligence staff as key partners in the expanded PHM vision.

Read Chapter 2

Read Chapter 4


41.  Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. Accountable Care Organization Learning Network Toolkit. January 2010. Accessed July 7, 2014.

J. Hunt, PharmD, MS