August 30, 2021
In many health care settings, screening for social determinants of health (SDOH) and specific social risk factors, such as unstable housing, food insecurity, and lack of transportation, has become increasingly common in attempt to overcome structural barriers and provide more patient-centered care. Even as COVID-19 exacerbated many health disparities, interest and activity around SDOH actually increased with the expansion of telehealth services that enabled providers to connect with their patients virtually.
To date, nearly 900,000 SDOH screenings have been conducted for more than 500,000 unique patients across the OCHIN network and telehealth visits now account for roughly 15% to 20% of new SDOH screenings each month (up from effectively 0% in early 2020).
Based on this growing body of experience, OCHIN’s partners at the California Telehealth Resource Center (CTRC) have published a new three-part blog series exploring the many challenges and opportunities providers face in adapting to offer virtual SDOH support.
“We look forward to sharing success factors from experts in the field, as well as from OCHIN member clinics who have been navigating SDOH virtually through the pandemic,” wrote Ned Mossman, clinical program manager of social determinants of health and value-based care at OCHIN. “It’s our hope that these shared learnings and experience will help inform others’ efforts and continue the momentum around SDOH into the virtual future.”
Visit each of the links below to read the full CTRC blog series, including practical tips and considerations for providers in the field.
Decades of research have shown that health care accounts for only 10% to 20% of what defines a person’s health status and that social, behavioral, and genetic factors play a large role in determining overall health. Learn about the value of offering virtual SDOH screenings and support.
Screening for SDOH can involve discussions of sensitive and potentially stigmatizing topics, such as financial and food insecurity, and has the potential to exacerbate or cause new trauma if not done in an empathetic and patient-centered manner. Learn how to conduct SDOH screenings that are trauma informed.
While patients who are unhoused or experiencing housing instability are often presumed to be less likely to be able to use technology to access health care services, a growing body of research shows that this is not the case. Learn how telehealth can support care delivery for unhoused patients, reduce transportation barriers, help connect them to community resources, and reduce feelings of social isolation.