Modern Flat Illustration of Teamwork to reach goalIntegrating social determinants of health (SDH) data into EHR systems may help providers address the economic and social risks that negatively affect patient health.

However, a recent Annals of Family Medicine study by Gold et al. identified several barriers inhibiting the integration of SDH data into EHR clinical documentation.

A team of researchers from Kaiser Permanente, OCHIN, Multnomah County Health Department, Cowlitz Family Health Center, and University of California San Francisco implemented a suite of EHR tools designed to collect SDH data at three Pacific Northwest community health centers as part of a pilot study testing the effectiveness of EHR-based SDH documentation.

“The argument for such documentation is compelling: SDH profoundly impact health, so providers should know about social factors that might increase their patients’ health risks, or hinder their ability to follow care recommendations,” stated researchers…..more