Increase healthcare equity with the social determinants of health

October 17, 2022 by Experian Marketing Services

Over the past two decades, we’ve seen healthcare become increasingly interconnected. Healthcare systems can share a patient’s clinical information in a variety of ways. A Pharmacy Benefits Manager can share it through an Electronic Health Record. An MRI scanner can also capture and store patient images on a picture archiving and communication system (PACS). Despite this wealth of information, according to the CDC, 20 million U.S. citizens don’t have access to medical care when they need it. A patient’s well-being should represent more than their clinical data. How can we increase access to care for those individuals? We can look towards non-clinical factors, like the social determinants of health, for answers.

Coordinate care for at-risk patients

What if you could identify patients who are likely to readmit due to factors outside of their medical conditions? We can use demographic, geographic, and socioeconomic data to discover patients that need greater access to care.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) can uncover factors that may increase the burden of disease for some populations. What are the social determinants of health? They are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. Think of factors like safe housing, transportation, job opportunities, and education. These conditions can affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.

What insights can the social determinants of health reveal?

Experian Health’s Social Determinants of Health solution offers holistic insight into the financial, transportation, and technological barriers individuals may experience. These barriers could hinder their access to care, medication, food, and housing. It’s important to find a solution like ours that offers prioritized, proactive suggestions for interventions that help remove or reduce such barriers for improved health outcomes. Our rich household data sets can provide key insights into the SDOH. This data can answer key questions such as:

  • Are there existing populations with housing instability issues?
  • How much price sensitivity do consumers have for medication?
  • Are there markets or locations that have food instability issues?
  • Is transportation an issue that makes it hard for patients to access care facilities?
  • Are there geographic influences that drive or prevent diagnosis and care?

In the chart below, we break down the SDOH into five categories. We outline key considerations that offer insights to provide patient-specific context for your caregivers. Finally, we present patient engagement strategies that are SDOH factor-specific and based on best practice interventions and program types.

chart breaking down the key features of social determinants of health data

Social determinants of health data in action

While much of healthcare focuses on clinical outcomes, our Consumer View data can provide a wealth of insight into a variety of non-clinical factors that can influence quality of care. A profile of core demographics such as age, ethnicity, and gender can uncover new opportunities or highlight areas where engagement does not align with medical research. We can discover patients at-risk for not being able to access essential services utilizing key, social determinants of health and geographic profiling. When combined with core demographics like age, gender, and ethnicity, we can compare any patient population against expected SDOH norms to uncover significant gaps in access to care.

Our data shows that:

  • 1 in 12 households have no access to a vehicle
  • 1 in 4 households are sensitive to the cost of medication
  • 1 in 5 households have very low technology sophistication
  • 1 in 7 households live below the federal poverty level

Once you have this data, what can you do with it? You can develop an inclusive education and communication campaign with our data-driven content and contact engagement solution. This solution empowers you to pair the perfect messaging styles with the right channels to deliver a personalized experience to broaden your reach. For those individuals who have little access to technology, an email campaign may not reach them. We can identify additional engagement channels like the traditional newspaper, radio, direct mail, or even broadcast TV to determine the best medium to expand your market while increasing access to care. By using decision making styles and engagement channels, together we can reduce the burden of care on the medically underserved.

Let’s drive inclusive healthcare together

Develop a more holistic view of your patient population while increasing healthcare equity. We can help you use the social determinants of health for actionable care management. Contact us to learn how you can fold this data into your healthcare ecosystem.

Author: Steve Adamo

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