tips to get started

These tips are not just for health care staff! In any of these, replace “patient” with “student” or “client” and start the conversation wherever you are.
How do you contribute to our picture of health? We bet if you start unraveling, you’d be surprised…

Watch the video at a staff meeting and use one or more of the accompanying tools to start discussions.

Share the Why change the way we think about health document with members of your team, your group, your community, and choose 2 or 3 actions you can do. Then do them.


Learn what population health means to your colleagues – go to the give us your thoughts section. Add in your own idea of what population health means to you.

Ask questions to get at the root causes of why patients are admitted to the hospital…how can we prevent them from coming back? Chart them. Share your concerns at staff meetings.

Who are the other health care providers that can help enable your patients to be their healthiest?

Always ask yourself when providing care…has the person most affected by this decision been involved in making the decision? That’s patient centered care. That’s a population health approach.

Ask yourself the question, ‘what can I do differently?’ Can you do it? If so, start. If not, who can help you? Ask them.

Browse the Nova Scotia Community Counts page (or local statistical information in your region) and find out who is in your community. Are they mostly seniors? Are they healthy? Are they employed in decent paying jobs? Think about how these situations influence what you see in your program or practice.

When you hear about something health‐related in the news, think about the determinants of health that are being impacted, but not necessarily talked about.

Pick at random one of the social determinants of heath. How does this determinant show up in your work? Your patients? How might your patients’ health/life be different if, for example, they worked in a different job? Had more or less education? How might you change the way you work with your patients by thinking about that particular health determinant? What help outside of the hospital do they need with it? If you’re front line staff, what’s the biggest barrier for bringing this issue up with health care administration? If you’re health care administration, how can you better capture this information from front‐line staff? How can you bring it up with your community partners?