Telling a complete patient story requires capturing the social determinants that influence overall health. Evidence suggests that focusing on “upstream” interventions outside of traditional clinical care—such as housing, neighborhood conditions, and increased socioeconomic status—can lead to overall improvements in health and reduce health disparities and inequities.
The challenge for health systems is capturing and structuring information from sources beyond traditional health information systems. According to a recent AHIMA survey, 73 percent of provider organizations do not have a formal structure to address data governance for social determinants of health (SDOH).
As the role of SDOH grows larger in health systems’ patient and population health initiatives, data governance will be essential to achieving success.