Uses and misuses of patient- and neighborhood-level social determinants of health data
Health care leaders in the US are actively exploring strategies to identify and address patients’ social and economic hardships as part of high-quality clinical care. The result has been a proliferation of screening tools and interventions related to patients’ social determinants of health, but little guidance on effective strategies to implement them. Some of these tools rely on patient- or household-level screening data collected from patients during medical encounters. Other tools rely on data available at the neighborhood-level that can be used to characterize the environment in which patients live or to approximate patients’ social or economic risks. Four case examples were selected from different health care organizations to illustrate strengths and limitations of using patient- or neighborhood-level social and economic needs data to inform a range of interventions. This work can guide health care investments in this rapidly evolving arena.
Gottlieb LM, Francis DE, Beck AF. Uses and misuses of patient- and neighborhood-level social determinants of health data. Perm J. 2018;22:18-078. PMID: 30227912. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/18-078.