With 70 percent of a person’s health attributed to environmental factors and lifestyle choices, it’s crucial to understand what social determinants are and how to apply them to support your population at an individual level.

Understand social determinants of health

The healthcare industry is waking up to the fact that factors outside the healthcare system impact a person’s health status and outcomes. Non- clinical health drivers are making headlines and include critical impact elements such as housing, food security, transportation, education, and socio-economic stability/status. Social determinants of health are often broadly defined as where people work, play, and pray. Experts agreed it's important to go deeper by leveraging additional data points like commuting distance, online presence, and personal goals.

Social determinants have real-world implications

Understanding the whole person—social and clinical variables—improves the ability to deliver relevant, actionable programming. For example, someone living in a multi-unit building may be at higher risk for COPD and should perhaps receive different interventions than someone living in a single-family home. Another example is offering mail order prescription refill services to a senior living alone with limited transportation options. With deeper insights like these, programming is more personalized to an individual's specific needs.

Clinical data is just part of the story

Traditional healthcare data (medical records and claims) provides only a snapshot of a person’s overall health status and does not factor in what happens outside of a clinical setting. Individual-provided and non-healthcare (consumer) data offer insights about a person’s daily life, such as spending habits, that can be analyzed and leveraged to create actionable insights. Some organizations now use comprehensive data sets to predict health risks or needs and identify the most effective interventions and preferred communication channel(s) from text to direct mail. Others have leveraged Welltok’s proprietary consumer database of 275 million people and 800 predictive variables, including social determinants of health, to inform health programming and strategies.

To learn more, contact Erica Morgenstern to discuss how Welltok’s consumer data and solutions can help you make social determinants of health actionable.