Patients are people first; treating them holistically requires the use of insights derived from both clinical and non-clinical data. To achieve full integration of SDOH into healthcare true collaboration among clinical and social entities are a necessary step in redefining how healthcare serves its people.

Today, Screening for social determinants of health(SDOH)is increasingly done in primary and specialty care settings. Payers and health care organizations have recognized the importance of these determinants not just to clinical outcomes but also to cost and use of services. Toward that end, both clinical and financial cases have been made for an expanded focus on SDOH for many, if not all, patients. However, a part from system challenges, one of the biggest challenges that this will have moving forward towards patient populations is one of ethics and the acceptance of appropriate standardization processes and guidelines. Some SDOH is driven by complex social and structural factors, such as racism immigration status, and may be difficult to describe in a diagnostic construct such as ICD-10.

Creating a “perfect” bridge between the medical and social construct specifically for an individual is not an easy feat oftentimes burdened with gaining access to information deemed more sensitive that individuals would want to share in an office visit. Health has deep roots in communities, non-healthcare institutions, policies, and social hierarchies such as those posed by race, class, and gender. Quantifying that complexity is difficult and needs cooperation from these organizations. When asked which non-medical barriers to care or health the respondents’ organizations plan to act on in the next year, Nearly two-thirds (63.7%) of respondents named care coordination, a traditional companion service to direct medical care, as a key to overcoming barriers. It is important to note in order to achieve full integration of SDOH into healthcare to overcome ethical barriers, compliance, and social constructs true collaboration and partnership among entities serviced by individuals are a necessary step in redefining how healthcare cares for the people it is intended to serve.

You can read the complete journal about the intersection of Blockchain and SDOH at here