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Social Determinants of Health Screening Implementation: Bridging Clinic and Community to Improve Healthcare Outcomes

Motivated by the transition to value-based payment that compensates providers for patient health outcomes, there are growing efforts to capture information on the social determinants of health (SDOH) in health care in the United States. To improve health outcomes, SDOH information should be integrated into clinical workflows for use in both panel management and individual patient care. However, little is known about the impact of standardization of SDOH data collection on clinicians’ workflows, on professional roles and identities, and on clinician-patient relationships. Furthermore, the optimal design of digital screening tools to reflect the unique characteristics of SDOH data (e.g., importance of narrative) remains unclear. The study examines these questions through a review of evidence concerning existing screening instruments, individual interviews with healthcare providers (n=17-24) and patients (n=17-24), as well as observations of SDOH screening in multiple clinical settings. A prototype tool for SDOH screening will also be developed, which will apply insights from the evidence review, interviews, and observations. This prototype will then be evaluated through usability testing with clinicians (n=6-12). We anticipate that findings will benefit create generalizable knowledge about standardization, its impact on health care providers and patients, and the design of tools for SDOH screening.

Principal Investigator: Tiffany Veinot

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The amount of the award is $88,009 for UMSI for the project period. The grant is funded by Parkview Hospital, Inc.