Learn how social determinants and health equity are dependent on each other
Social determinants of health (SDOH) and health equity are closely related concepts that have significant impact on the health outcomes of individuals and communities. SDOH are the social, economic and environmental conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and which shape their health outcomes. Health equity refers to the concept that everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to access affordable healthcare, regardless of social or economic circumstances. However, in the United States, health equity evades people of color, non-citizens, indigent people and LGBTIQ+ groups. According to a recent Accenture study, health inequities based on race and ethnicity are associated with $93 billion in excess annual healthcare costs and cost the economy $42 billion in lost productivity every year.
Addressing SDOH is essential to achieving health equity and is costly to ignore. Improving access to quality healthcare, education, safe housing and healthy food is also crucial to reducing health disparities. Providers can play a significant role in reducing SDOH to advance health equity:
In conclusion, SDOH and health equity are closely related concepts that are essential to improving health outcomes for all individuals and communities. Addressing social and economic factors that shape health outcomes by investing in technology and other resources is a great strategy to achieve health equity.
For more resources, check out the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) SDOH Information Exchange Toolkit.