Better health and improved health equity are impacted by factors beyond the care a person receives from their provider. Those factors, such as food insecurity, housing status, and transportation needs, are referred to as social determinants of health (SDOH), which significantly affect quality of life, health, and healthcare outcomes.
When SDOH data is appropriately collected, used, and securely shared, the entire healthcare team can gain insight into various elements that make up a person’s medical and non-medical story, allowing them to collaborate on improving an individual’s’ overall health and wellbeing.
Only 20% of our health is related to access to care and quality of health care services. The remaining 80% percent is determined by societal factors -- including an individual’s physical environment; socioeconomic factors like education or job status; or health behaviors such as diet and exercise or smoking or alcohol use.
These societal factors are often referred to as the social determinants of health, or the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. The phrase social determinants of health is often used synonymously with other phrases like the social drivers of health or the societal factors that influence health.
A growing body of evidence has shown that social determinants of health play a substantial role in determining health and healthcare outcomes. As a result, addressing social determinants of health is a crucial factor in addressing health equity.
American Health Information Management Association® (AHIMA®) thought leaders and guest presenters recently convened for the third virtual coffee break, “Using SDOH Data to Improve Health and Healthcare Outcomes”. Aida Somun, Chief Operating Officer, PCCI and Garett Ng, Data Lead, Social Health Practice, Kaiser Permanente shared successful strategies and tactics they’ve implemented to collect SDOH data and discussed opportunities and challenges facing healthcare professionals as their organizations screen for and collect SDOH data.
Download our digital toolkit and share widely to highlight the importance of social determinants of health and the AHIMA Data For Better Health initiative.
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