Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) refers to an individual or community's external social and economic factors that can impact their health and well-being. In the United States, the five determinants that account for many health-related interventions and programs include address stability (housing), economic health, health literacy, education, and social isolation.
Payers and providers realize that patient treatment today is not confined to clinical care alone. For sustained health outcomes, it is essential to have access to complete patient information and address the underlying socioeconomic factors that influence a patient's immediate environment.
Preventive care and simple, timely actions can avert many health crises. For example, patients who miss appointments often cite a lack of childcare or access to transportation.
However, every missed appointment or no-show increases a patient's chance of escalated medical issues, readmissions, and increased expenses.
Social determinants data can help providers anticipate patient challenges and offer resources or services to facilitate timely routine health checkups. Clinically validated Socioeconomic Health Attributes provide uniquely packaged SDOH data to enhance analytic models.
SDOH data can suggest a patient's likelihood to stick to a prescribed care plan. For example, with a limited food budget, a diabetic patient may find it challenging to follow a prescribed diet of healthy foods.
Using the patient's social determinants can help healthcare professionals create a personalized care plan to remove and address SDOH barriers and set the patient up for successful healthy eating. Socioeconomic Health Scores can help.
This data also helps achieve efficient provider operations and benefits payers by delivering timely information – saving administrative efforts and associated costs.
Population level social determinants of health data enables an accurate understanding of community and environmental health inequities. This understanding of patient population health can help identify the most relevant health care programs and focus available resources to address the most pressing health and social issues based on social determinants of health barriers present in the community.
Between 2017 and 2019, the US healthcare industry spent $2.5+ billion supporting quality-of-life initiatives aimed at improving employment, housing, food security, education, transportation, and community building, through evidence-based social determinants programs.
Benefits of Integrating Social Determinants of Health Data
Challenges of SDOH Data Integration