Population Health: The Ghost Aim
In 2008, Berwick et al. articulated the Triple Aim — improved care experience, improved population health, and reduced costs. Eight years later, the Triple Aim has become the health care sector’s dominant framework and has led to notable improvements: the cost curve is bending and the safety of care is better. Yet, the basic paradigm — which focuses on traditional health care delivery, rather than health itself — has not shifted. It is as if three aims are too many for the sector to tackle at once. While much energy has been invested in improving the care experience and reducing costs, the final aim of improving population health remains elusive — a Ghost Aim.