Using Population Segmentation to Provide Better Health Care for All

The Bridges to Health Model

Published in: The Milbank quarterly, v. 85, no. 2, June 2007, p. 185-206

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Joanne Lynn, Barry M. Straube, Karen M. Bell, Stephen F. Jencks, Robert T. Kambic

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The model discussed in this article divides the population into eight groups: people in good health, in maternal/infant situations, with an acute illness, with stable chronic conditions, with a serious but stable disability, with failing health near death, with advanced organ system failure, and with long-term frailty. Each group has its own definitions of optimal health and its own priorities among services. Interpreting these population-focused priorities in the context of the Institute of Medicine's six goals for quality yields a framework that could shape planning for resources, care arrangements, and service delivery, thus ensuring that each person's health needs can be met effectively and efficiently. Since this framework would guide each population segment across the institute's Quality Chasm, it is called the Bridges to Health model.

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