Background: As the Affordable Care Act transforms the practice of both public health and health care, it also provides opportunity for both to become more closely linked through improved integration and collaboration. Yet, while public health agencies are increasingly called to work with healthcare partners to address population health needs, both public health leaders and their healthcare counterparts may not be well equipped to answer that call. Although recent studies have begun exploring the collaborative strategies and capacity of public health system partners, there is still much to learn. The purpose of this study was to identify, through the perspective of senior public health and healthcare leaders, actionable strategies that might facilitate better integration or linkages between public health and healthcare organizations.
Methods: Through semi-structured key informant interviews with senior healthcare and public health executives in one urban county, strategies were identified that public health and healthcare leaders might use to more effectively link population health programs and activities. Data were collected in 2013–2014; analysis was conducted in 2014.
Results: Identified strategies include: focusing on targeted issues with shared interest; leveraging payers and business partners to expand support for integrated efforts; training and retraining the workforce for interdisciplinary, population health work; and developing and supporting a strong, neutral convening agency.
Implications: As they employ these strategies to structure collaborative efforts, public health and healthcare leaders may improve linkages around population health programs and activities.
Carlton EL, Erwin PC. Answering the Call to Integrate: Simple Strategies from Public Health and Healthcare Executives in One Urban County. Front Public Health Serv Syst Res