Helping clinics screen for social determinants of health

New EHF research is helping clinics learn about tools that screen patients for social factors like poverty, poor housing conditions, and other circumstances that have a direct impact on their health.


EHF Analysis of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Screening Tools

All patients who walk into a clinic have a story. But their current physical condition only tells a small part of their overall health report. It’s no secret that many other social factors like poverty level, income, housing conditions, education, workplace situation and much more combine together to affect the health of people and communities. 

More and more clinics and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are advocating for screening for social determinants of health (SDOH) so they can help address the many social needs of their patients.

This focus on health, not just healthcare is the foundation for EHF’s work. We want to address the underlying causes that lead to poor health and tackle health from all angles in Texas.

That’s why EHF recently released a research brief: Prior to Implentation – Important considerations of Social Determinants of Health Screening Tools. It’s designed to provide clinics and FQHCs with a framework for reviewing social determinants of health screening tools. Quianta Moore, an EHF health policy consultant, researched the purpose of the screening tools, concerns about their use, and the important factors clinics and FQHCs should consider when choosing the right SDOH screening tool.

“There are many SDOH tools being used and/or piloted throughout the country,” writes Moore. “There are several important factors to consider when adopting such a tool, such as the target population, ease of integration in clinical practice, actionability of questions and provider obligations.”

In addition to the Moore’s report, EHF’s research division also has released  An Overview of Commonly-Used Social Determinants of Health Screening Tools. This report provides important information about specific screening tools for children and adults, provides a checklist of options for each tool, and gives links to find about more information.

Have questions or want to know more about Social Determinants of the Health Screening Tools?

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