The Right Data Can Drive More Effective SDoH Efforts
People from underserved communities can face multiple challenges when it comes to preventive healthcare, accessing the latest treatments and experiencing the same outcomes that others do. It’s been a problem in search of an effective solution for many years.
The growing attention to social determinants of health (SDoH) has led to specific interventions that work for providers, for health IT vendors and health plans. But beyond these examples, there remains a great overall need to address the whole patient and improve the health and wellbeing of Americans with financial issues, food insecurity, a lack of reliable transportation and many other day-to-day challenges.
Let the SDoH Data Be Your Guide
Getting the right care to the right individuals at the right time is the goal and SDoH data can help. Data-driven solutions could improve SDoH efforts, in part by improving identification of where the need is greatest.
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions advanced linking technology enables organizations to help identify and match of these high-risk populations, so they can be offered the supports they need as well as proactive preventative healthcare.
More diverse study populations can promote greater health equity for research moving forward. People in these groups can be encouraged to enroll in clinical trials for broader and more representative trials. Also, predictive models using SDoH data can direct care personnel to intervene early and in the most effective ways possible to help avoid negative health outcomes.
Addressing Health Risks Earlier Makes Sense
The right data helps healthcare leaders identify people at risk before their health worsens. Currently, identifying the highest-risk and ‘rising-risk’ populations is an inexact science. Preventative healthcare is worthwhile because the earlier the intervention, the better the outcome. It is easier to move the needle for a rising-risk member than for a high-risk member. By the time your health is very poor, it is a lot harder to change.
Healthcare organizations have initiatives in place that already are showing promise for SDoH and health equity. Successful examples include improving diabetes self-management, which in turn can reduce emergency department use, lower costs, improved glycemic control and improve diabetes knowledge. Better nutrition also can make a difference — one health system promoted more nutritious meals for people with diabetes and is expected to save $8,000 to $12,000 for each point reduction in HbA1C levels as a result. This type of intervention can improve outcomes in the long term.
The Right SDoH Data for the Right Reasons
The past has demonstrated that not just any data will do. Successful SDoH initiatives need varied and detailed information, such as socioeconomics, family caregiver status, social interactions, consumer habits and social media use. Together, they may outperform narrow healthcare data sets in silos, such as hospital claims data.
Healthcare stakeholders need see both the big picture and the individual solutions. These leaders can launch SDoH initiatives with the greatest impact by targeting specific needs related to transportation, housing assistance, meal provision and other supports to the populations and individual patients who need them most.
It’s also good for business. Organizations can become empowered to make a difference along the patient journey while enhancing their own business. Like the example above, if you identify diabetes at an early stage and intervene before it progresses, you can transform health outcomes and save money. Addressing social determinants of health also improves health engagement and patient/member satisfaction.
To learn more strategies for success, download the white paper “Closing the health equity gap: A data solution for addressing SDOH along the patient journey.”