According to a study published in the Yearbook of family medicine, it may be useful for community health centers to use electronic health record (EHR) system to collect, analyze and recommend information about social determinants (SDH) of patient health.

In this study, the researchers implemented an EHR based system, which recorded and summarized the SDH results of three community health centers, so they can evaluate the acceptance of these centers.

“Many health care systems are exploring how to integrate social needs documents and interventions into routine care,” the study said These documents are particularly relevant to community health centres, where vulnerable patients are likely to be exposed to social and economic risks associated with poor health. The past efforts of community health centers to integrate social and medical needs are usually temporary and rarely recorded in EHR. “

According to the results, the system can record potential SDH in 97% to 99% of screened patients. It is also able to make SDH related referrals for 19% of patients. However, only 15% to 21% of patients with SDH said they wanted help to improve their health.

“Our results show that SDH documents in EMR are feasible; however, in order to realize the benefits of systematic SDH documents based on EHR, the obstacles to the adoption of EHR tools must be addressed. The results conclude that the results may be beneficial to (community health centers) And other primary care providers seeking to implement SDH related work, especially when SDH documents are required or related to economic incentives.

“Systematic EHR documentation and SDH demand management may affect the health of patients (community health centers), but optimizing such EHR tools and smoothly integrating them into clinical workflow will need to address a large number of knowledge gaps.”

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