There is a common saying that your zip code matters more than your genetic code.
In short, where you live is important to your health risks and outcomes. But it shouldn’t. COVID-19 has put much more focus on the health disparities that have long existed within our communities. We have better understood vaccination rates, hospitalizations and deaths based on your zip code. And it has also further identified gaps in care and treatments for many health conditions.
Regarding hope, technology and insights into data are used to address health disparities, to prevent bias in care delivery, and ultimately to help improve overall outcomes across all communities. . Healthcare “technology”, or the strategic design, development and implementation of technology to promote health equity, allows providers to look beyond clinical factors to get the full picture of a person’s key health-impacting indicators. Understanding a person’s social risk factors gives clinicians the ability to provide equitable, person-centered care and informs overall treatment planning.
For example, the Oracle Cerner Determinants of Health solution helps organizations advance whole-person care by identifying and addressing social risk factors through action-oriented community analyzes and social determinants of health capabilities integrated into health care workflows. assistance management.
The lack of standardized data collection, incomplete data and limited resources and tools create obstacles to properly understanding and addressing the needs of populations. Using community social risk information, along with EHR data and geospatial capabilities, it is possible to identify areas of high social risk, such as transport barriers, air quality and access to food, from a county to a cluster of blocks of census. This information provides key details of healthcare, care management and community health teams on the social, economic and environmental risks that patient populations may suffer to develop targeted interventions.
These stronger connections with social needs impacting health, thanks to technology and data information, are making a difference for the better, both for individuals and for entire populations. As a global leader in health technologies, Oracle Cerner offers compelling examples of how data is driving more equitable health care in the United States and around the world:
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center: A screening tool enabled the hospital to better manage the correlation between adverse social determinants and poor health outcomes in the diabetic and other chronic conditions population. The results led to the decision to hire community health workers for all primary care clinics and emergency rooms. All patients can be screened to discover and address important social risks.
Roper St. Francis Healthcare in South Carolina: Using geospatial modeling, the system found that patients at risk for diabetes and hypertension congregated in an African American church. Working with church leaders, some of them nurses, the health system has developed wellness programs, prevention strategies, and health screening. The result: the levels of risk in the population decreased by 50%.
NHS in the UK: Data in 2020 showed that people with learning disabilities are six times more likely to be hospitalized for flu than the general population. One solution: pop-up flu vaccination clinics tailored for people with learning disabilities that led to a 92% increase in vaccinations for that population.
Schools in the Middle East – A Middle Eastern country uses data to make sound decisions, for all of its citizens! The government has adapted the menus of the schools, has decided where to put the gyms and where not to put the fast food chains based on diabetes prevention.
These examples of technology in the healthcare industry are a multi-stakeholder effort. It takes all of us to create a fair path to healing and better health for our communities. At Oracle Cerner, we’ve partnered with over 50 organizations to focus on health equity and the social determinants of health innovation. It’s not just about healthcare IT leaders – it’s about hospital administrators, doctors, social workers, care managers, and population health leaders who share successes and challenges in their efforts to improve the conditions their patients live in.
Using useful tools and insights into the data allows healthcare professionals and care teams to spend more time with their patients. And technology helps patients access the care they need by meeting them where they are so they can enjoy a healthy life.
This story was originally posted on HLTH.