How Technology Is Changing How We Treat Social Determinants Of Health
As technological advancements continue to shape the healthcare industry, new technology has been shown to be instrumental in helping tackle the barriers linked to social determinants of health. Social determinants of health (SDOH) have become one of the biggest buzzwords in healthcare, as more focus is being placed on how behavioral, social, and economic conditions affect people’s health and quality of life. As more information comes to light about how these non-medical factors are impacting the health of people worldwide, healthcare technologies have been adapting to help address SDOH.
Yet, you may find yourself wondering what the social determinants of health are. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the social determinants of health are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, and worship that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes. Social determinants of health are non-medical economic and environmental conditions that have an impact on one’s health such as access to transportation, safe housing, clean water, and nutritious food.
These non-medical factors can significantly impact the health of populations, making it important that the healthcare industry takes steps to address SDOH. In particular, adopting the latest healthcare technology can help healthcare providers trace and combat the social determinants of health that can have the greatest impact on their patients. Keep reading as we explore a few of the ways healthcare technology is changing how we treat social determinants of health.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote patient monitoring systems provide a great opportunity to monitor patients with chronic conditions who are often affected by SDOH. The fact is that smartphones and mobile devices are widely adopted and used daily across socioeconomic levels and age groups, providing opportunities for care providers to reach out to and monitor their patients more frequently.
Not only can apps be used to help educate patients on their condition in their preferred language from the comfort of their homes, but purpose-built tools can also be used to monitor patients’ vitals remotely. These include devices that allow providers to access data on a patient’s blood sugar, basic vitals, and data from their pacemakers.
This allows for a more consistent stream of data, which ensures clinical decisions are data-driven. It also provides clinicians with the data they need to provide proper care, even if patients have financial or mobility issues that make it difficult for them to make frequent office visits.
Health Information Gathering and Data Analytics
Gathering and analyzing patient data including medical records, electronic documents, emails, social and demographic data, and information about environmental factors can play a vital role in revealing traceable patterns and trends that can highlight how SDOH are affecting patients.
Data analytics can play a significant role in providing quality care to patients by helping improve patient engagement and by determining potential health risks a patient may need to be tested for based on SDOH factors.
Clinify Health provides healthcare providers with the data analytics they need to make informed decisions about patient care. Our AI-based analytics help improve the quality of care, and it aggregates clinical and non-clinical data to provide actionable interventions for at-risk patients by identifying risk factors and possible gaps in care.
Health Information Technology
Electronic health records (EHRs) are the core platform of data aggregation in healthcare organizations, and they act as an exceptional tool for deriving SDOH-driven data. However, the demands of population health requires health information technology that will complement EHRs with additional data to address patient activities that occur outside of the clinical visit.
Our population health solutions can then enable your organization to provide appropriate care to all patients through communication, collaboration, and patient engagement. Clinify Health can give you the tools to gather the data you need to link SDOH-impacting patients to the medical interventions they need while also measuring the impact on health outcomes, ensuring that your measures are effectively meeting the needs of at-risk patients.
Facilitating Care Coordination
Technology can prove essential in facilitating care coordination by making it easier for providers to communicate with patients, as well as by helping care professionals collaborate. Virtual communication allows care teams to build relationships with their patients, helping them to uncover barriers to care, provide more frequent follow-ups, and provide patients with guidance and resources. Technology also makes it easier for healthcare professionals to coordinate care, which can be particularly vital in instances where patients have multiple providers that need to work together to create a treatment plan.
Technology can also be instrumental in reducing barriers to specialty care. Clinify Health knows that specialty care referrals are a critical element of outpatient care, but they can also present numerous obstacles to achieving high-quality care. Clinify Health’s referral management solution can ensure a seamless and transparent end-to-end referral process between primary care physicians and their sub-specialist network, ensuring patients do not suffer from gaps in care due to difficulties seeing specialists.
Provides Actionable Insights
Implementing the latest digital health technology can help you to better meet the needs of your patients by providing aggregating data, and by providing you with actionable insights on steps that you can take to improve patient health. In this way, digital health solutions can help organizations take a holistic, whole-person care approach that aims to minimize health risks while reducing costs.
By aggregating clinical and non-clinical data, Clinify Health’s digital solutions can help provide real-time reporting and alerts that care teams can use to proactively identify gaps in care and areas of concern. This technology can then reduce hospitalizations (and costs) by leveraging data and remote monitoring to determine when a patient may need specific interventions.
Adopting the latest digital health solutions can allow healthcare providers to better understand how social determinants of health are impacting their patients, helping them to better meet the needs of complex and underserved communities. Clinify Health provides industry-leading solutions that empower our customers and partners to succeed by leveraging real-world datasets, sophisticated analytics, and cloud-based technologies to improve the outcomes of healthcare. Contact us at Clinify Health to learn about how our services could help you better meet your patients’ needs.
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