To achieve quality health outcomes, organizations must deliver excellent patient care.
However, patients may suffer poor outcomes – even if they have access to the best care in the world – if providers fail to consider social determinants of health, including factors such as socioeconomic status, education, social network support, access to care, access to transportation and employment.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that social determinants of health have a far greater impact on outcomes than the actual delivery of health services. Social and economic factors affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life issues that influence healthcare costs, as well as outcomes. As the industry continues to transition to value-based care models that reward providers for delivering high-quality, cost-effective care, providers must consider the social and economic conditions that impact the well-being of individual members.