Identifying and implementing social determinants of health (SDOH) data into the EHR is critical to finding answers to a state’s most significant issues.
Once identified, SDOH data helps healthcare providers make social services referrals, but the process for doing so using technology is challenging.
“It’s not that physicians have totally ignored social determinants of health, but impactful information—such as the fact that the patient had to take time off from a low-paying job and ride two buses to get to the doctor’s office—isn’t typically collected in electronic medical records,”said Brian Dixon, PhD, director of public health at the Regenstrief Institute.
Health systems across the country are attempting to implement SDOH data into EHRs and health information exchanges (HIEs). However, most health systems face significant issues, such as interoperability, when implementing SDOH into the EHR.