Social Determinants of Health
As a patient-centered medical home, social determinants of health (SDOH) screenings at Compassion Health Care, Inc. are important because it helps our providers better understand our patients and their specific health needs.
According to the CDC, social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality of life risks and outcomes.
SDOH have a greater impact on health outcomes than behavior or family history. Barriers to the social determinants of health lead to many health inequities. Factors like education, social support(s), poverty, racism, food insecurity, housing, and more help us see the whole patient. Identifying these barriers helps us zone in on critical aspects of patient health outcomes.
A patient’s social well-being is important in maintaining good health. When there are disruptions at school, in the home, at work, or in society, it can lead to problems that negatively impact our patient’s state of mind and physical health. For instance, a patient may miss primary care appointments at CHC due to a lack of transportation. This is an area in which we screen to understand our patient’s needs. Other examples would be lack of health literacy, making it difficult to understand medications that are prescribed to them, possibly leading to a lack of follow-through with the plan of care in place with their primary care provider.
With the SDOH screening, your provider is better able to gain a comprehensive understanding of the factors involved in contributing to or causing your condition. The SDOH tool used at Compassion Health Care, Inc. involves the following:
- Lack of transportation
- Food insecurity
- Housing and Utilities
- Unsafe living conditions
While these are the focus of our screening process, your PCP may take a deeper dive into certain determinants to truly get to the root of any issues you may be having that impact your health. Please let your provider know if you are struggling with something. Part of our goal is to help guide you as the patient and provide resources or referrals in an effort to get you the very best medical care and advice. As part of this process, you may be referred to one of our behavioral health clinicians or community health workers depending on the outcome of the social determinants of health screening.
We believe in health equity, which means everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This is achieved by addressing the social determinants of health.
Access to Quality Healthcare
When someone lives in an area that has access to quality healthcare, this improves their odds of being healthier. However, if a person who lives in this area does not have insurance, they’re still likely to avoid primary care because of affordability of service and possible medications. Social determinants of health screenings help build a pathway to health equity for everyone in our communities. Programs like CHC’s Medication Assistance Program and the Sliding Fee Scale offer help to some of our most vulnerable patients.
Your health matters to us. Through screening, we are able to develop targeted interventions and improve care coordination and patient engagement.
Talk to your provider today about the social determinants of health screening and how it can help you and your PCP achieve better health outcomes.