Update on Social Determinants of Health Data Usage

SDOH is “Hot” in  Healthcare Today






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One Response

  1. SDOH

    As you will read among other articles on this topic, it is competing priorities which presents the biggest challenges for the C-Suite. While process improvement, efficiency gains and better care can be derived from such an investment on SDOH, it is often the “soft” costs used as the measure. When looking at ROI, most want it to be more tangible for the result. Investing in technology or a new business line, you are looking at revenue growth. Investing in SDOH one is measuring resulting savings and reduced loss. Where we are with value-based reimbursement, it is imperative that healthcare organizations not only streamline but also maintain the quality of care. It is managing the patients from the vulnerable populations that is the real challenge.

    Organizations with sound quality management systems that look at both the operational and clinical aspects of care can impact the savings to be realized. Whether it be increased costs from a patient population using the Emergency Department as their care provider or the costs of readmissions, making investments in technology, process change, projects focused on specific needs, these can make a considerable impact that will be realized with maintaining reimbursement and not being penalized.

    As we look to the future of precision medicine and advancements in technology, this will enable providers to provide a means for better assessment models to identify those more at-risk. The resulting affect is that processes change by introducing new protocols or other means to better manage patients. The more consistent, the more to be gained. Lack of data is a shortcoming because most of the systems do not have a robust method in place for identifying social and behavioral concerns that should be considered in preparing a treatment plan for the patient.

    There is objective evidence from success stories that have proven to be effective, but they made an investment to make this happen. Is it worthwhile for investment in SDOH, of course, but how to prioritize this among the other needs that are part of capital and operating budgets. If hospitals are not effective in how they are delivering care in the value-based reimbursement model that will likely continue, they will feel the pinch of this. Use a little now to save a lot more later.

    Patrick Horine
    President – DNC GL Healthcare USA, Inc.
    via Ann Miller RN MHA


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