Connance Survey Highlights Data Gap For Social Determinants Of Health Information

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Predictive analytics company finds sociodemographic data needs to be more comprehensive, patient-specific, and available earlier in the care process

If clinicians and care managers knew of patients’ sociodemographic challenges prior to hospital admission, it would go a long way towards improving outcomes and narrowing risk, according to a new survey from Connance, Inc.

The predictive analytics company asked 175 case managers, social workers, and clinical executives nationwide about the current availability and use of social determinants of health (SDOH) data. The survey findings suggest that awareness of sociodemographic factors such as transportation challenges, financial instability, and food access, and knowing about them at the right time in the care process, can materially improve patient outcomes.

While much research has been conducted on social determinants and their health impact, the Connance survey reviewed the types of SDOH data currently available to care teams, and asked what could be done to improve it.

Insufficient SDOH Data

The survey found that for both fee-based and risk-based health care environments, the type of social determinant information available to care teams is insufficient. “Despite the considerable investment made in EHRs and population health systems, there’s a real gap in access to valuable social determinant information,” says Ryan Bengtson, Senior Vice President of Clinical Innovation at Connance. “The SDOH data they have either lacks a direct connection to care programming, or it doesn’t surface early enough in the treatment process.”

Lack of Patient-Specific Data

In addition, SDOH data must be as patient-specific as possible. Aggregated data about ethnicity, environmental conditions, and crime rates within a zip code may be helpful in understanding the population, but patient-specific factors are far more critical to delivering care. “Hospitals have limited ability to impact crime or improve air quality in a neighborhood, but they can certainly offer transportation access or financial assistance for those patients that need it,” says Bengtson.

When SDOH Data is Most Effective

Providing SDOH data as early as possible in the patient relationship was also a key factor. Most respondents (96 percent) believed it would be most valuable to have the data prior to the patient being discharged from the hospital. “Whether it’s delivering healthy meals to a patient’s home, or arranging transportation to take them to a follow-up appointment, hospitals can organize ahead of patient arrival to best align programs and services to the patient need,” observes Bengtson.

Some providers, such as Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, are starting to directly address very complex sociodemographic challenges for their patients and communities. The health system will add an affordable housing apartment complex to its already established senior living center.

“Social Determinants of Health, The Missing Link to Improved Outcomes,” a company white paper based on results of the survey, is available via download at info.connance.com/wp-social-determinants.

About Connance, Inc.

Connance is the healthcare’s industry leading provider of predictive analytics solutions that personalize the financial and clinical experience for patients. Transforming the revenue cycle and value-based care delivery, Connance leverages data science, integrated to workflow to drive enhanced performance. Connance delivers Patient Pay Optimization, Reimbursement Optimization and Value-Based Risk solutions that combine our data, hospital data and consumer data to stratify patients based on social determinants to predict behavior and provide actionable insights to improve net income and patient outcomes. Connance solutions connect more than 500 hospitals, over 1000 physician practices and other clinical locations, and more than 80 collection agencies nationwide creating the largest research database of its kind. For more information call (781) 577-5000 or visit http://www.connance.com.

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Amanda Cecconi
Connance
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