Healthcare Cannot Afford to Ignore SDOH

Timeslot: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Session Type: General Session


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines social determinants of health (SDOH) as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, and age and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the condition of daily life”. These determinants include poverty, housing instability, unreliable transportation, health literacy and food insecurity among many others and they contribute to disparities which have a huge impact on health, health equity and overall well being. Increasingly, clients are struggling, post pandemic, with rising costs of food and safe housing options. Surprisingly, approximately 76% of hospitals do not screen for social determinants (Fraze et al., 2019). Too many times in healthcare, we neglect to dig deeper into patients’ unique situations to treat holistically and realistically. Studies have shown that social drivers of health contribute to high healthcare expenses, readmissions and poor health outcomes. Through understanding, identifying and addressing social determinants of health related to our unique client populations, we can begin responding to our current state of health inequities. As value-based care arrangements and quality metrics include health equity components, it is time to examine your team’s current comprehension of social barriers and how providing timely and thorough interventions can both reduce avoidable readmissions and improve health outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify social determinants of health and how they affect an individual's overall health outcomes

  • Describe the impact of SDOH screening across the care continuum

  • Evaluate indicators of success within a systemwide implementation plan for SDOH screening and timely interventions