Today, data analytics rely heavily on clinical (EHR) and claims data, but social determinants of health (SDoH) such as patient behaviors, environmental conditions and socioeconomic factors account for 80 percent of health outcomes.
Capturing and analyzing SDoH helps build an understanding of the complex factors that influence patient decisions, drive variations from best practices, and impact overall quality, outcomes and costs associated with care.
Hospitals should take steps now to capture crucial SDoH data. For example:
1. Train front-line care teams and hospital registration/admissions staff to better collect more types of data during patient encounters
2. Align collection methods to content:
- Staff-assisted screening for complex care
- Self-reported for sensitive information
3. Leverage cost-effective and culturally-sensitive community health workers to collect SDoH data
4. Work with EHR vendors and internal IT departments to augment and standardize existing EHR software across departments to properly and consistently record SDoH and other critical data
5. Incorporate data from wearable devices, remote patient monitoring systems and patient-reported assessments
SDoH data contribute to a better understanding of risk at the patient and population levels, which, in many cases, can predict cost drivers that often run healthcare organizations into the red such as infection, unnecessary emergency department utilization, readmissions and adherence to transitions of care.
To read more about how healthcare organizations can turn SDoH into action, download our free white paper: Social Determinants of Health: From Insights to Action.