Addressing patients’ social needs (such as lack of transportation, social isolation, food insecurity, financial strain, housing problems, and household violence) as part of their overall health care needs can seem time-consuming and overwhelming. But when AF Williams Family Medicine Center in Colorado conducted a nine-month pilot project focused on screening for social determinants of health (SDOH), some of its findings were surprising.
• Of the 2,018 patients screened for SDOH, 541 (27%) reported at least one need. The most commonly reported needs were financial strain (56%) and social isolation (37%).
• Of the patients who disclosed at least one need, only 124 (23%) requested support from the clinic team.
• While 58% of clinicians and 33% of staff began the project thinking they were too busy for SDOH screening, only 21% of physicians and 10% of staff felt that way by the end of the project.
• 91% of staff and 92% of clinicians agreed that the screening benefitted patients.
Read the full article in FPM: The Feasibility of Screening for Social Determinants of Health: Seven Lessons Learned.
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