Social determinants of health (SDOH) data offer a fundamental shift in value-based healthcare delivery. Provider organizations are evaluating high-impact interventions that address the non-medical root causes of health issues in both individuals and populations. However, incorporating SDOH in practice presents significant challenges in data acquisition, validation, analysis, and integration.
Focus On: Social Determinants of Health
Every person’s health story is unique. Telling that story requires clinical data and the socioeconomic factors that influence overall health. Capturing social determinants of health (SDOH) data—which include factors such as economic stability, social connections, and behavioral health—helps healthcare providers create meaningful health journeys for individuals and communities. As the leading voice of health information, AHIMA believes that health information professionals bring a uniquely comprehensive view to using SDOH data. AHIMA is working across the healthcare landscape to educate, align, and advocate for purposeful and informed strategies that safeguard privacy, reduce cost, improve quality of care, and foster a patient-centered experience that is broadly accessible and equitable to the communities the health system serves.
What are SDOH?
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the economic, social, and behavioral conditions that influence the health and quality of life of individuals and populations. HIM professionals are uniquely equipped to capture this complex information, helping clinical and financial health teams create meaningful health journeys for individuals and communities.
SDOH at Your Fingertips
Bookmark this page as a navigable resource for SDOH-related content. Here you will find articles from the Journal of AHIMA exploring the topic of SDOH as well as information on events and other resources from AHIMA and across the healthcare industry.
Highlights on SDOH
All Social Determinants of Health Content
In this moment of crisis and peril, we must honestly assess what it means to “return to normal,” because for too many people normal means being left behind.
Joe Nicholson, DO says that COVID-19 offers an opportunity for deep and widespread adoption of SDOH initiatives—not just as a response to the pandemic, but a viable pathway for closing long-standing disparities and inequities in our public health system.
Early research has found ample evidence that COVID-19 has been disproportionately impacting communities of color. This disparity isn’t exactly a surprise to providers who have been studying the impact of social determinants of health (SDOH) for decades
While evidence of the impact of social risk factors on health outcomes, utilization, and costs is mounting, the efforts to capture and standardize these data is lacking.