The social determinants of health (SDOH) are widespread across race, ethnicity, and geography, and commonly consist of challenges such as lack of adequate transportation, food insecurity, poor educational opportunities, and more. As one of the industry’s leading SDOH companies, the team at Socially Determined helps communities across the United States address such issues and create scalable interventions and solutions.
Hospitals and health systems are uniquely positioned to support SDOH initiatives, and here are a few ways they can positively influence the patients they serve.
How Do Hospitals Influence SDOH?
Hospitals and medical facilities can influence SDOH in a number of ways, starting with addressing the existing racial, geographic, and ethnic disparities in their communities. It’s no secret that where people work, live, and age can exacerbate such health disparities, but hospitals have the ability to make the quality of health better for such communities by providing more holistic care. They can also implement policies to address and reduce such disparities.
Addressing Disparities Using a Comprehensive Approach
To date, many of the policies and practices implemented to address socioeconomic disparities have focused solely on the individual, rather than the community at large. To reduce these gaps, not only can providers implement programs that address social necessities such as access to transportation, healthy food, and housing, but also those that take the community as a whole into account. This means eliminating discriminatory initiatives and updating policies to reduce disparities, thus fostering more structural change in the healthcare sector.
Embracing the Role as Anchor Institutions in their Communities
Another way hospitals can work to reduce the aforementioned inequalities is to embrace their role as an important anchor in the communities they serve. Local hospitals can embrace this role by offering hiring opportunities throughout the community and investing in programs and services that will reduce healthcare disparities. They can offer all their employees a living wage, partner up with community-owned businesses, and local universities.
Lastly, hospitals can directly address SDOH by creating and spearheading health initiatives focused on social needs within their community. This, in turn, will influence policy decisions and promote education on the things their communities need the most.
Contact us for SDOH solutions to help your communities
If your organization is seeking ways to enhance the quality of life and access to healthcare in your community, Socially Determined can help. We work with providers, payers and life science organizations and more around the U.S. effectively address social risk to make communities around the country better places to work and live.
Contact us online today for more information or call (202) 480-2811.