By Abhinav Shashank
What causes two patients of the same age and with the same disease but from different regions to respond differently to a certain treatment? Even if these two patients appeared similar on paper, their lifestyles are very likely to differ- socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, family structure, and education.
Is SDOH a promise for a better future, or is it just another hype?
Success in the value-based care environment cannot be achieved based solely on clinical insights. According to one study, clinical care accounts for only 20% of the health outcomes of patients, while health behaviors, social and economic factors, and physical environment combined add up to inﬂuence the remaining 80% of health outcomes.
Social determinants matter because they can affect the health of the population residing in a particular region for better or for worse. Trying to improve population health armed with only clinical data and not the non-clinical factors, is like investing in a project which cannot generate positive returns.
Although multiple pieces of research demonstrate that social determinants may substantially contribute to a person’s health status and well-being, the major problems are these:
- How do we address these complex challenges?
- Who is the best-positioned stakeholder to do so in a clinical environment?