Health Equity Initiatives
Social Determinants of Health
Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, quality-of-life outcomes and risks. According to the World Health Organization, these circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels.
The Health Equity team in collaboration with clinical and non-clinical teams across the health system have developed a standardized social determinants of health screening process. Screening for social determinants of health helps the system identify specific needs of an individual patient. At Children’s Health, we currently screen for seven (7) SDOH domains:
- Financial Insecurity
- Food Insecurity
- Health Literacy
- Housing Quality & Insecurity
- Social Support
- Tobacco Use
- Transportation Insecurity
A positive screen in any of these domains prompts referral to community resources by Children’s staff. At Children’s Health, we care about our patients’ needs and are here to help them find the resources, tools and care they need to be as healthy as possible.
Race, Ethnicity, and Language (REaL) data Collection
To begin diminishing health disparities in and around our health system, we had to first understand who our patients are. Our goal is to have a systematic approach to eliminating unconscious biases when identifying the patients we serve. One step in addressing health disparities and improving patient outcomes is stratifying patient data by race, ethnicity and language.
At Children’s Health, we instituted a REaL data training program that focuses on the importance of collecting accurate information. As a result, we have been able to train our registration staff on the collection of self-reported race, ethnicity, and language REaL data which led to a 50% reduction in errors in this information.
With the data collected, we were able to create Patient Demographic Dashboards that highlight the uniqueness of our patients. These dashboards help us to understand the health and social factors affecting communities by location and service line.
Community Health Initiatives
At Children’s Health we have partnered with community health partners like federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and FQHC expansion support clinics for intentional collaborations. These partnerships allow for continuing innovation to reduce gaps in care, create a seamless delivery model for vulnerable patient populations and address health disparities.
In order to address health disparities, we lead efforts in clinical and non-clinical programming, advocacy, partnerships, sponsorship and community investment.
Research and Publications
Health equity research is essential in examining the underlying causes of health disparities, with the goal of identifying and addressing the systemic and structural factors that lead to health inequities. By understanding the root causes of health inequities, this research can inform policies and interventions that address social determinants of health, by identifying the most effective strategies to improve health outcomes in underserved populations.
Ultimately, investing in health equity research is critical to promoting health and wellbeing for all individuals and communities, regardless of their background or circumstances, resulting in reduced health disparities for all, promotion of health equity in our communities, and the building of a more just and equitable society.
Link Factors Influencing the Implementation of Social Determinants of Health Screening and Referral Processes in Pediatric Settings Serving Medically Complex Patients, Journal of Applied Research on Children, 2020
Contact Health Equity
1935 Medical District Drive