Implementing Social Determinant of Health Screening in a Family Medicine Clinic: A Pilot Study
While unmet social needs can perpetuate barriers to health equity, health care staff may feel unprepared to address these needs. This article describes a pilot study on implementing a screening process for social determinants of health in a family medicine clinic where there was no prior standard of care. A quality improvement approach was used to frame the implementation and evolution of screening and follow-up strategies for social needs. Social determinant of health screening was successfully implemented during this pilot of 400 encounters, revealing a 26.3% prevalence. Options for addressing social needs grew during the study, although no statistically significant impact was observed on measured short-term health outcomes. Physicians can use quality improvement to counter clinical inertia toward addressing social determinants of health and also to concurrently screen and develop appropriate patient-oriented solutions in their clinics.
Isaacs, K. (2021). Implementing Social Determinant of Health Screening in a Family Medicine Clinic: A Pilot Study. Am J Med Qual. doi:10.1097/jmq.0000000000000016