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Technology Vendors Embrace Social Determinants of Health

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   November 23, 2020

New Chilmark Research report highlights the increasing integration of community organizations with EHRs and other healthcare IT products and services.

Driven by the demands of COVID-19, community-based organizations continue to connect to various healthcare partners in order to drive value-based care, according to a recent Chilmark Research report.

Addressing SDoH: IT Solutions to Engage Community Resources draws upon interviews with executive leaders at companies offering technology solutions, including EHR vendors, as well as other research sources, to show how social determinants of health are being addressed by the industry.

The report identifies the strengths and weaknesses of options in the market and predicts how the market will develop in the future.

Jody Ranck, co-author of the report, said that leaders involved understand that the healthcare system needs to address SDoH better.

“The pandemic has proven to be an additional, critical driver for continued expansion of [value-based care], which requires understanding all of the factors that can influence a member’s health status … to engage resources beyond the clinic,” he said in a news release.

The need for community partners is a new one for healthcare organizations, which traditionally try to keep all care within their own walls to maximize fee-for-service revenues. Key barriers to integrating with such partners include data management, legal issues, and internal engagement, according to the report.

Related: How to Build a Connected Community to Address Social Determinants of Health

Community partners are some of the best resources providers can utilize to address the social factors impacting patients’ health status, but this is a new need for, healthcare organizations, which under FFS, tried to keep all care within the clinic to maximize revenues. Data management and liquidity make effective integration with external partners a key barrier to implementation, while legal and internal engagement issues continue to slow adoption. 

Within two years, healthcare IT products and services will slowly grow new capabilities, as the market determines key functions and performance expectations. The Chilmark report profiles key technology IT vendors and their plans to impact community health.

“The pandemic has proven to be an additional, critical driver for continued expansion of [value-based care].”

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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