Screening for Social Needs: Guiding Care Teams to Engage Patients

Screening for Social Needs: Guiding Care Teams to Engage Patients

Screening for Social Needs: Guiding Care Teams to Engage Patients is a tool to help hospitals and health systems facilitate sensitive conversations with patients about their nonmedical needs that may be a barrier to good health. It is the latest effort by The Value Initiative to promote the field’s work to drive value by lowering cost and improving outcomes.

In partnership with other community stakeholders, hospitals are addressing the social factors that affect individuals beyond their exam room walls. A crucial step to addressing patients’ social needs is having a conversation to fully understand what they are experiencing.

The tool includes strategic considerations for implementing a screening program, tips for tailoring screenings to hospitals’ unique communities, case examples and a list of national organizations that can help connect patients with local resources. 

AHA Resources on Social Determinants of Health

AHA offers a range of tools and resources for hospitals, health systems and clinicians that address the social determinants of health.

Improving Value by Addressing the Social Determinants of Health. This podcast features highlights from a presentation at the Association for Community Health Improvement’s 2019 national conference about how hospitals are driving value by screening for social needs.

Addressing Social Determinants of Health Presentation. This adaptable presentation deck gives you the tools and talking points to start the social determinants of health discussion in your hospital and community.

ICD-10-CM Coding for Social Determinants. ICD-10-CM Codes allow clinicians to code for social needs. This document reviews what the codes are and how hospitals can use them to record and track patients’ social needs.

Social Determinants of Health Guides. AHA is producing a series of guides on how hospitals can address various social determinants of health. Below are the topics covered to date:

Social Determinants of Health Curriculum for Clinicians. To help clinicians address social determinants, the AHA’s Physician Alliance created a web-based virtual expedition to train and equip staff with how-to actions and companion resources. Modules include an overview of social determinants, introduction to upstream quality improvement, and a focus on addressing food and housing insecurity as well as transportation.

The Value Initiative Issue Brief 3: Connecting the Dots: Value and Health Equity. This issue brief frames the connection between equity and value and affordability, highlighting how hospitals are improving value by addressing social determinants of health and equity.

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