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What are the Social Determinants of Health?

The October 2018 issue of Open Minds republished an article that was originally featured in NEJM Catalyst, a product of NEJM Group, a division of the Massachusetts Medical Society, called “Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)” that offers a fresh and detailed look at how SDOH is defined.

The authors write: “SDOH are the complex circumstances in which individuals are born and live that impact their health. They include intangible factors such as political, socioeconomic, and cultural constructs, as well as place-based conditions including accessible healthcare and education systems, safe environmental conditions, well-designed neighborhoods and availability of healthful food.”

What makes this topic so relevant? “As our health system moves toward value-based models which incentivize positive results rather than individual procedures and treatments, health care industry leaders increasingly are regarding the social determinants of health (SDOH) as critical components of these efforts,” the authors continue. “By concentrating on these facets of well-being in tandem with medical care, providers are taking a holistic view of patients and overall population health to enhance patient care, promote superior outcomes, and drive value in health care organizations.”

Read the article here.

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