Across the healthcare continuum, organizations are driving toward a holistic view of the patient in an effort to focus on overall health and improve patient outcomes. Acknowledging the impact of the full experience of patients in their health, inclusive of clinical, social and behavioral health, is an important step in making a bigger impact on outcomes and cost of care.
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are discussed in the healthcare industry as a way to understand more about patients, but data on patients’ social experience varies greatly in its content, collection methods and use by organizations. The March 2021 Healthcare Innovation virtual series, supported by LexisNexis Risk Solutions Health Care, recently hosted a virtual panel featuring experts in the field discussing SDOH efforts and data.
Demonstrated ROI – Reducing Readmissions and ER Visits
Healthcare organizations are developing approaches to leverage SDOH data to impact decisions for social outreach and programming to drive patient outcomes and organizational ROI. Dr. Jacob Reider, CEO of the Alliance for Better Health, highlighted how a focus on representing community-based organizations while working with health systems has broad-based benefits. His organization demonstrated ROI for health systems by “reducing readmissions significantly, especially among the homeless members of our communities” by improving connections to respite housing and housing placements at time of discharge.
For hospitals and health systems, understanding patients’ social determinants and evaluating institutional barriers can drive impacts on patients’ health. In a Tower Health hospital in Reading, PA, Desha Dickson, Associate VP of Community Wellness, related how ROI documented at her organization tied to reduced emergency department visits and lower readmission rates was not because of clinical changes, but was largely driven by non-medical interventions.
Infrastructure to Support Data Collection Is Critical
Infrastructure to support both data collection and workflows is an essential element of an SDOH program. At ProMedica, Dr. Brian Miller explained that focusing on the single SDOH domain of food insecurity highlighted the need for discrete data that is “analyzable, reportable and longitudinal and connected to care management via directed workstreams.” With such a long list of SDOH factors, Dr. Miller described the challenges collecting SDOH data from their patients and members. ProMedica identified a high-morbidity group for a focused effort with data they acquired from outside sources in order to drive SDOH initiatives.
“External data sources like LexisNexis Socioeconomic Health Attributes enable organizations to do a better job of stratifying and targeting our resources and being able to get into the workflow,” according to Jay Sultan, Vice President of Strategy for LexisNexis Health Care. LexisNexis connects organizations to the data needed to solve nuanced challenges in healthcare, including a solution that provides 442 clinically validated attributes tied to understanding the primary domains of SDOH.
Payers and providers can benefit by understanding more about new patients or newly enrolled members. They can have a rapid, positive impact on their community’s health in the absence of clinical history and focus their resources on engaging the patients, identifying community-based resources, and measuring patient outcomes tied to SDOH programs.
Register to watch the March 2021 series on Healthcare Innovation’s website.
Learn more about LexisNexis Socioeconomic Health Attributes.