Assessing and addressing social needs in primary care
While efforts to assess and address social determinants of health (SDOH) in primary care are inherently limited in their ability to address larger systemic challenges, approaches to respond to individual level patient social needs show real potential for improving health and reducing disparities by integrating clinical care with social services. Our work at Lincoln Community Health Center (LCHC) is part of a larger nationwide movement toward re-imagining the role and responsibility of health systems with respect to the communities that they serve. The long-term success of efforts to assess and address SDOH in primary care will involve health systems as catalysts for community engagement and cross-sector collaboration with real potential to achieve better population health and health equity.
Drake C, Eisenson H. Assessing and addressing social needs in primary care. NEJM Catalyst; November 2019. Available online.