The Gravity Project

A National Collaborative to Advance Interoperable Social Determinants of Health Data

*NEW* September 11, 2020: The Gravity Project Receives Grant to Standardize How Health Care Organizations Collect Data on Housing and Other Social Factors

Note that information about this project is being updated on the Gravity Project website.

In the context of mounting interest in collecting and using social risk and protective factor data in health care settings, new challenges have emerged related to the capacity of existing medical terminology standards to effectively capture the necessary data. With initial funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and in partnership with EMI Advisors LLC, in 2019 the Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) launched the Gravity Project, a national collaborative effort to develop structured data standards to help reduce barriers to documentation and exchange of social risk and protective factors within the health care enterprise and with other sectors. Building on previous work funded by Kaiser Permanente, the Gravity Project will:

  1. Develop use cases related to documenting social risk and protective factors data for screening, diagnosis, treatment, and population health management activities;

  2. Identify common data elements and their associated value sets to support the uses cases;
  3. Develop a consensus-based set of code recommendations for capturing and grouping these data elements for interoperable electronic exchange and aggregation; and
  4. Develop HL7® Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR®) Implementation Guides based on the defined use cases and associated data sets.

This project is initially focusing on three priority social domains, identified based on recommendations from expert advisors, existing literature linking these domains to health, and active local, state, and federal demonstration projects in these areas:

  • Food security;
  • Housing stability and quality; and
  • Transportation access.

Participation in the Gravity Project is open to all interested organizations and individuals. To learn more about the project or to get involved, please go to the Gravity Project website.

Links to previous SIREN work on this topic, funded by Kaiser Permanente:

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