About Population Health and the Planning Guide

What is Population Health?

Population health refers to the health status of a group of people, rather than the health of an individual. It can refer to the population within a geographic region, a patient population, or a population sharing certain common characteristics.

In the context of this website, population health is defined as the total population health in our state, including the health of specific populations within that total.

Why use a Population Health Approach?

Beginning with healthcare system strategies that support Value-Based Payments, a population health approach expands to include community-clinical linkages and broad population strategies. In the short-term it can lead to a reduction in healthcare costs and improved health outcomes for identified groups. Ultimately, it can lead to greater health and well-being for the people of Washington State.

Washington's Plan

Creating a plan to improve population health is a project of the Washington State Department of Health as part of the Healthier Washington initiative and our ongoing work in health systems transformation.

In partnership with the Health Care Authority and teams of internal and external partners, collaborative work has resulted in this Population Health Planning Guide website. The components—including strategies, tools and resources—on this site will allow us to continue to update, develop and expand information based on user needs and feedback.

We Welcome Your Feedback

Your input will help us improve future versions of this website. Please send your feedback to P4IPH@doh.wa.gov.


External Advisory Group

We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of our volunteer advisory group members who shared both their professional wisdom and local perspectives. We will continue to draw on their collective knowledge as this website evolves. View the list of Advisory Members.


Research and collection of materials for this project was made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Center (CMMI); Funding Opportunity Number CMS-1G1-14-001. The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.  

Learn more about Population Health from the national perspective: Population Health Resources from our National Partners.

Contact Us

Contact us at P4IPH@doh.wa.gov.