A Guide to Measuring the Triple Aim: Population Health, Experience of Care, and Per Capita Cost

In 2008 Don Berwick, Tom Nolan, and John Whittington first described the triple aim of simultaneously improving population health, improving the patient experience of care and reducing per capita cost. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement developed the 'Triple Aim' as a statement of purpose for fundamentally new health systems that contribute to the overall health of populations while reducing costs.

In 2008 Don Berwick, Tom Nolan, and John Whittington first described the triple aim of simultaneously improving population health, improving the patient experience of care and reducing per capita cost. The Institute for Healthcare Improvement developed the 'Triple Aim' as a statement of purpose for fundamentally new health systems that contribute to the overall health of populations while reducing costs.

Although no single organization or region has yet achieved an ideal, comprehensive measurement system for the Triple Aim, good examples and data sources are now available to illustrate how measurement can fuel a learning system to enable simultaneous improvement of population health, experience of care and per capita cost of health care.

This white paper provides a menu of suggested measures for the three dimensions of the Triple Aim. The menu is based on a combination of the analytic frameworks presented in the paper and the practical experience of the organizations participating in the IHI Triple Aim prototyping initiative. The suggested measures are accompanied by data sources and examples. The paper also describes how the measures might be used along with increasingly specific, cascading process and outcome measures for particular projects to create a learning system to achieve the Triple Aim.

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