Social determinants of health (SDH) are increasingly seen as important to understanding patient health and identifying appropriate interventions to improve health outcomes, and numerous federal initiatives have spurred SDH data collection through electronic health records (EHRs). This research investigated the development of SDH-related software products in EHRs through a literature review and qualitative interviews with six EHRs vendors with large market shares in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. Our findings indicate that vendor systems and their functionalities are influenced by client demand and initiative, federal initiatives, and the vendors’ strategic vision about opportunities in the health care system. Vendors recognized the need for more standardization of SDH performance measures across various federal and state programs, better mapping of SDH measures to multiple types of codes, and development of more codes for all SDH measures of interest.

Learning Objective: -Understand vendor motivations for developing software products that incorporate social determinants of health
-Describe EHR-based SDH product functionalities and uses
-Identify facilitators and challenges to collection and use of SDH data


Maysoun Freij (Presenter)
NORC at the University of Chicago

Prashila Dullabh, NORC at the University of Chicago
Sarah Lewis, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation
Scott Smith, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Lauren Hovey, NORC at the University of Chicago
Rina Dhopeshwarkar, NORC at the University of Chicago

Presentation Materials: