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.
An estimated 41% of people with chronic conditions like COPD, diabetes and congestive heart failure have avoided or delayed medical care, fearing exposure to the virus. By avoiding routine care, your members may be getting sicker and experiencing poorer overall health outcomes, which would then negatively impact your plan’s quality ratings.
When organizations are able to analyze data on these patients’ healthcare activities, but also the social determinants that impact their lives outside of the healthcare system, they can really understand the patients’ barriers to care — and take steps to assemble resources that will improve patient outcomes.
It’s not entirely unexpected that communication may take a backseat to more pressing issues – such as serving the victims of the virus. COVID-19 has made things more difficult for all of us to work under a “normal course of business,” so it makes sense that health plans would be even more impacted. However, the issue may not be due to a lack of desire to communicate – but more, a lack of ability to communicate effectively.