Article highlights:

  • New research out of NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine revealed that economic factors like income, educational attainment, and social issues like social stigma and discrimination are the leading social determinants of health limiting care access for patients. The data, published in the journal Ethnicity and Disease, aims to inform public policy and help healthcare providers better understand the social determinants of health affecting patients. In doing so, the researchers said providers can cater their treatment plans to account for SDOH, according to Erica Phillips, MD, an associate attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
  • The team conducted qualitative roundtable discussions with community members ranging from policy makers, community-based clinicians, patients, faith leaders, and other key community leaders. These roundtables sussed out the leading social determinants of health affecting patient access to care. The team also issued patient-facing surveys to gain more information about social determinants of health.
  • Ultimately, the researchers emphasized the importance of doing this kind of social determinants of health screening overall. Per the study, only 15.6 percent of physician practices and only 24.4 percent of hospital systems conduct universal SDOH screening. However, doing such screenings could help organizations determine where to become policy advocates or how to target patient education.

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