7th February 2019
Social determinants of health and master data management
Helping patients and clients across healthcare and social services
It has long been established that social and environmental factors have a big impact on people’s health. Economically disadvantaged people – those who are poor or homeless, live in unsafe neighborhoods, or lack access to quality education – are more likely to get sick, be hospitalized, remain hospitalized longer, and be readmitted to the hospital within key quality measure timeframes.
Healthcare providers understand the human impact of these social determinants of health (SDOH). Social service providers, state and local governments and, to some degree, policy makers, have also recognized them. Yet a variety of barriers have slowed progress toward a model that gives service providers, from health to housing to transportation, an actionable “golden view” of their patients and clients—one that could help them break down the walls that prevent them from delivering more integrated services at a lower cost.
SDOH has a profound impact on patients and their ability to receive the right care at the right time. Capturing SDOH data at the point of care is the most opportune time to collect the right data.
Justin L. Neece, President and CEO of i2i Population Health
The path forward is unclear, and barriers remain. For example, the move toward value-based care means healthcare providers are generally rewarded for care quality, outcomes, and costs, which could incentivize providers to avoid caring for vulnerable populations. One way to help hospitals address social determinants of health is to be sure that patient records include that crucial information.