Despite the competing concerns within the healthcare industry, stakeholders have come to nearly one single conclusion: that the social determinants of health (SDOH) are key factors in patient health.
A patient’s social circumstances, including socioeconomic status, educational attainment, housing status, or food security, can have considerable impacts on their health outcomes. After all, if a patient cannot afford a treatment or access the healthy resources necessary to manage an illness, the clinical effectiveness of care decreases, researchers and clinicians agree.
But simply coming to agreement about the importance of the SDOH isn’t enough, according to Shantanu Agrawal, MD, the CEO of the National Quality Forum (NQF). As healthcare payers, providers, and policymakers learn more about the social factors that impact a patient’s health, they must ask themselves, “what’s next?”