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Health IT End-Users Alliance Unite on SDOH Data Collection for Health Equity

A Health IT End-Users Alliance statement offers principles to guide the public and private sectors in SDOH data collection to achieve health equity.

The Health IT End-Users Alliance has released a consensus statement regarding collecting and using social determinants of health (SDOH) data to support health equity.

The Alliance brings together health information professionals, physicians, hospitals, and other front-line healthcare providers to advance end-user perspectives in health IT policy and standards development.

The statement calls for additional efforts to standardize and increase the uniform collection and reporting of SDOH. The group also calls for more training on collecting this data, better use of appropriate tools and processes to manage and share SDOH, and ongoing research to support these efforts. 

"If end users are to be successful at improving health equity through the collection, sharing, and use of social drivers of health data, we need to better understand the connection between policy and technology," Lauren Riplinger, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) chief public policy and impact officer, said in a press release.

"To succeed in improving health equity, we must focus on data collection and translation in the context of policy and standard development for improved patient engagement, better care, and more equitable outcomes," Riplinger added.

In the statement, the Alliance noted that as the healthcare system works to ensure proper access to data to guide programs, the primary goal must be equity in clinical care and health outcomes.

"OCHIN is proud to join our Alliance partners in demonstrating the collective commitment of our organizations to advancing health equity," noted Jennifer Stoll, executive vice president of external affairs at OCHIN.

"This consensus statement underscores the critical need to support whole patient health and well-being through integrated social risk screening and support, national data standards, and quality measures that lead to more sustainable healthcare," she added.

The consensus statement offers 11 principles to guide the public and private sectors in data collection and use to achieve health equity goals.

As policymakers and private stakeholders continue to advance a health equity roadmap, the Alliance urged them to balance practical data collection requirements and the use of that data to promote improved health outcomes.

"The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) looks forward to working alongside our alliance partners and policymakers to promote standards to provide consistency and efficiency for data collection and interpretation by medical group practices as we address the important issue of health equity," said Anders Gilberg, senior vice president of government affairs at MGMA. "These commonsense principles, when leveraged appropriately, should provide a foundation to reduce disparities in our healthcare system and provide better patient outcomes," Gilberg added.

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