social determinants of health

Gain insight into community and environmental factors that impact individual health risks.

Social Determinants of Health


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With Healthcare Budgets Continually Rising, Value-based Care Is a Top Priority for the Industry Today.

Data on social and environmental factors impacting public health is critical in the healthcare industry to add greater depth and insight into patient outreach and health improvement programs.

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.

social determinants of health

Effective Utilization of Social Determinants of Health

social determinants of health

Preventive Health Care
& Reduced No-shows

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.

social determinants of health

Personalized Care Plan
& Health Care Savings

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.

social determinants of health

Relevant Health
Program Investments

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.

social determinants of health

Benefits of Integrating Social Determinants of Health Data

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed national and global structural healthcare imbalances like unfavorable working conditions and increasing economic disparities. These vital social determinants, combined with health inequalities due to class, gender, education, ethnicity, and other factors, exposed the social vulnerabilities disproportionately impacting low-income individuals.

social determinants of healthHealthcare providers can use lessons from the global response to address COVID-19 to build stronger and better healthcare systems in the future. Efficiently integrating social determinants of health data in your organizational workflow can provide critical insights and a broader perspective into the health and well-being of individuals. Using SDOH can also ease data collection burdens on healthcare organizations as well.

SDOH data can help build accurate predictive models to identify patient risk factors and enable providers to drive effective treatment models. Health systems can leverage SDOH data to provide more personalized patient care, reduce healthcare costs and impact future health outcomes for the community. The potential effect of this data integration in healthcare is incredible, but it does have its challenges.
social determinants of health

Challenges of SDOH Data Integration

Standalone clinical care has a myopic view of the patient, which limits the impact on improving patient health. Understanding the impact of social determinants of health, coupled with community-based care interventions, can help reduce health inequity and provide better healthcare for all. SDoH data is multifaceted and can come from a variety of sources, sometimes impacting data quality and accurate predictive models. Accordingly, some organizations may not fully understand which data elements to use to maximize the accuracy of their predictive analytics or how to integrate the data into their current workflows effectively.

Leveraging the insights derived from social determinants of health may be overwhelming and require coordination between various stakeholders, including IT, analytics, clinicians, social workers, community partners, and leadership. Developing a solid SDOH business case can help you overcome this challenge.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions can make it easier for you to source, collect, normalize, and integrate socioeconomic data and provide a framework for ethical use of SDOH data for successful health outcomes. Our SDOH data can replace or complement survey data. For payers and health systems, survey data collection mechanisms for SDOH are resource intensive and likely to yield an incomplete picture of the patient, due to non-response, data stagnation or potential bias. Our data can be used to ease the burden of data collection and create a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s potential barriers to care.

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Speak with a LexisNexis Risk Solutions healthcare representative to understand how your organization can effectively utilize SDOH data.
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