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Analysis

Experts to Gather at HHS to Discuss SDOH Data Issues

By Mandy Roth  
   September 30, 2019

Roundtable event attracts renowned professionals to address ways to improve health outcomes by 'catalyzing' social determinants of health data. 

Use of data related to social determinants of health (SDOH) will receive expert attention in Washington, D.C., this week when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Chief Technology Officer hosts a roundtable event focused on how to use this information to improve health outcomes.

While SDOH is acknowledged as one of the primary drivers of health, the healthcare industry has not yet solved the puzzle regarding how to corral and apply data in a meaningful way to drive change. As more health systems turn their attention to SDOH, high level discussions such as this one at HHS this week may help connect the dots and provide a foundation for future initiatives.

As HealthLeaders clinical care editor Christopher Cheney wrote in Use 4-Part Tool to Screen Your Patients for Social Determinants of Health, "housing, food security, and transportation can have a pivotal impact on the physical and mental health of patients. By making direct investments in initiatives designed to address SDOHs and working with community partners, healthcare organizations can improve patient health in profound ways beyond the traditional provision of medical services."

The HHS discussion will focus on how to catalyze the use of the social determinants of health data at the federal, state, local, and individual levels to improve health outcomes, according to a news release. Improved data on this topic can inform better programs, leading to greatly improved patient outcomes, the release says.

Participants expected at the Thursday gathering include:

  • Mona Siddiqui MD, MPH, chief data officer, HHS
     
  • Joel Gurin, president and founder of the nonprofit Center for Open Data Enterprise
     
  • Aneesh Chopra, MPP, co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics and former U.S. chief technology officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
     
  • Brett Giroir, MD, HHS assistant secretary for health and a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
     
  • Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and population health at Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin

Other recent HealthLeaders coverage of SDOH includes:

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

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