What are social determinants of health (SDoH)?
Social determinants of health can include housing, transportation, education, access to food, social isolation and more - basically, anything that compromises where a client lives and works. When I say everything to do with, I mean the impact zip code has on a client’s overall health is up to 80%.
As nurse educators and nurses, we need to consider a client’s SDoH at admission and recognize the importance and the impact one’s environment has on promoting and/or maintaining health. Addressing the social determinants of health begins with identifying a patient’s needs and measuring their impact on the patient upon admission. A client’s health outcomes are too often caused by the conditions in which they live, learn, work, and play, and healthcare providers are not routinely asking the right questions to help remedy the problems.
Let’s dig into eight key SDoH areas we should ask our clients during admission assessments and therefore adding to prelicensure nursing and medical programs. By doing so, the patient outcomes would be more positive, and the readmission rates and overall healthcare expenditure would much lower.