Hospital Partnerships for Population Health: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Academic Article


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The U.S. healthcare system continues to experience high costs and suboptimal health outcomes that are largely influenced by social determinants of health. National policies such as the Affordable Care Act and value-based payment reforms incentivize healthcare systems to engage in strategies to improve population health. Healthcare systems are increasingly expanding or developing new partnerships with community-based organizations to support these efforts. We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature in the United States to identify examples of hospital-community partnerships; the main purposes or goals of partnerships; study designs used to assess partnerships; and potential outcomes (e.g., process- or health-related) associated with partnerships. Using robust keyword searches and a thorough reference review, we identified 37 articles published between January 2008 and December 2019 for inclusion. Most studies employed descriptive study designs (n = 21); health needs assessments were the most common partnership focus (n = 15); and community/social service (n = 21) and public health organizations (n = 15) were the most common partner types. Qualitative findings suggest hospital-community partnerships hold promise for breaking down silos, improving communication across sectors, and ensuring appropriate interventions for specific populations. Few studies in this review reported quantitative findings. In those that did, results were mixed, with the strongest support for improvements in measures of hospitalizations. This review provides an initial synthesis of hospital partnerships to address population health and presents valuable insights to hospital administrators, particularly those leading population health efforts.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 10938118
  • Author List

  • Hilts KE; Yeager VA; Gibson PJ; Halverson PK; Blackburn J; Menachemi N
  • Start Page

  • 170
  • End Page

  • 198
  • Volume

  • 66
  • Issue

  • 3