A large portion of our health is affected by a variety of socioeconomic variables, none of which mean that we’ll ever visit a clinic, doctor’s office or hospital. Social factors that affect health generally called SDOH -and the use of healthcare have been proven to be in a correlation. It’s believed that as high as 80percent of socioeconomic factors affect our health. That’s significant. As healthcare institutions such as hospitals as well as health systems, payers and hospitals seek to cut expenses and run more efficiently There’s a growing amount of evidence that points to the need to understand and address SDOH.
Healthcare organizations use SDOH information using the following methods:
- Risk stratification
Socioeconomic data can serve as one of the few sources to determine the level of risk a member or patient is at risk of high utilization moderate risk, low risk risk, increasing risk, high risk and more. Alongside using claims and clinical data, incorporating socioeconomic data from an outside party can improve risk scores developed in-house. In turn, companies are able to create complete models for separating populations and improve the health outcomes.
- Analytics predictive
Through the combination of socioeconomic data along with information on claims and clinical healthcare providers have been able to pinpoint individuals or groups at risk and decide the appropriate socio-clinical intervention to use.
- Social Needs Referrals
SDOH data is an asset for Social workers as well as care management. With the right data and tools, they can give accurate referrals to local organizations such as food banks and transportation services, as well as emergency housing, job-training programs, and financial aid.
SDOH data can help to break down barriers to care , which often result in more costly health issues in the future. SDOH data can help solve those issues. For instance, a food prescription service in Ward 8 of Washington, DC has brought a diverse team to improve health for diabetics, pre-diabetics, and hypertensive people who had food insecurity. The program offers an annual $20 prescription for vegetables and fruits, and also a nutritional consultation. The results, like an increase in ED hospitalizations and visits, as well as an increasing number of primary care visits, are already evident.
- Individually-focused intervention in care
Individual-level data sets inform managers of the specific socioeconomic requirements which the organization can address directly. For instance, if there is no access to reliable transportation, whether personal or public patients might miss annual check-ups, follow-up appointments and suggested screenings. The clinic can offer free rides between and to the doctor’s office in order to help patients attend appointments.
- Community-based interventions
The data sets that are aggregated are being used to pinpoint which neighborhoods could receive the most benefit of SDOH interventions. For instance, hospitals located in areas that have high levels of homeless people have offered those in a state of instability housing with a safe and a supportive area to heal following discharge from hospital.