Data and Social Determinants of Health

By Scott Hampel

I think a lot–and I’m not the only one–about how we can improve the ways we pull information from data. Data on its own is inert: just waiting to be understood and then used. And that’s a major challenge for many organizations. Data is often trapped in different applications with no easy or convenient way to extract it. (This article is an example.)

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on social determinants of health and the ways it can be better incorporated into healthcare to improve health outcomes, and health and wellness. And data is a big part of making social determinants successful on a national level.

Each day we create vast amounts of data as part of the healthcare process. Accessing and making sense of it is crucial to making social determinants a workable initiative.

Data is often trapped in different applications with no easy or convenient way to extract it.

The National Academies found, however, “Interoperability and data sharing between health care and social care are hampered by the lack of infrastructure, data standards, and modern technology architecture shared between and among organizations.”

Recognition that data is the problem and the solution is important to integrating social determinants within healthcare at-large.

Scott Hampel is president at MedeAnalytics