Addressing Social Determinants of Health

  • Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age. They are the social, economic, environmental and other nonmedical factors that can have an impact on a person’s overall well-being and health outcomes. Examples of SDOH include housing, public transportation, education, food and nutrition, social support and human interaction, and public safety.
  • Much of what affects our health and wellness is “upstream” and extends beyond medical issues. In fact, up to 80% of our health is affected by factors external to the health system.  In order to improve our health ecosystem and support healthy communities, we must also support these underlying social needs, particularly in underserved communities.
  • In order to better leverage the existing and ongoing accumulation of evidence related to SDOH, interdisciplinary efforts are needed to better understand the impact of SDOH in our daily lives and how it can improve our overall care for patients and communities.

How you can take action during U.S. National Health IT Week:

  • Participate in the Virtual March to modernize public health data infrastructure.
  • Join our public policy webinar, “Smart Communities and the Push Towards Health IT Modernization,” and other HIMSS educational events.
  • Request a proclamation or resolution from your governor or mayor declaring U.S. National Health IT Week.
  • Join your local HIMSS chapter to network and learn at events.
  • Attend a U.S. National Health IT Week event.
  • Raise public awareness by posting on social media.
  • Sign your organization up to become a U.S. National Heath IT Week Partner.