Incorporating social determinants of health into a patient's health records is an area of significant interest for health systems, but many are finding the integration to be challenging. Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI researcher Brian Dixon, PhD, MPA, is presenting strategies to achieve this goal at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) Global Health Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, FL.
Clinical data should be linked with social determinants of health, such as socioeconomic status and access to food, to better address individual and public health needs, yet there is an overwhelming amount of information available. Combining it all in a useful manner is a complex process. Health systems should consider partnerships with health information exchanges and research institutions like Regenstrief to help incorporate these data into existing workflows and information systems."
Dr. Brian Dixon, director of public health informatics for both Regenstrief and Fairbanks School of Public Health
In his presentation, Dr. Dixon will explain the Indiana Addiction Data Commons (IADC) as it relates to the broader creation of the Indiana Network for Population Health and how it serves as a model for future partnerships.
The IADC was created through funding from the Indiana University Addictions Grand Challenge with the goal of addressing the opioid crisis by making relevant data accessible to researchers, community health professionals, policymakers and others. Regenstrief, Indiana Health Information Exchange, the Polis Center, the Indiana State Management Performance Hub and other organizations contribute data to the IADC, where they can then be used to better understand factors contributing to the use, abuse, and overdose of opioids and other substances.
Current projects within the IADC include matching emergency department visit data to EMS runs, as well as analyzing neighborhood level indicators, including census data, education level and poverty level, and their relationship to emergency department visits. This type of work can inform policy, guiding public health officials in identifying populations at greatest risk and creating programs to address risk factors.
"The IADC and the broader Indiana Network for Population Health demonstrate how a multitude of partners can contribute information to build a more complete picture of health and wellbeing," said Dr. Dixon. "Through this infrastructure, data can be synthesized to allow clinicians to make care decisions without being overwhelmed with information. I believe partnerships like this will be important to help health systems move forward with integration of social determinants of health."
Dr. Dixon's presentation, titled Integrating Social Determinants into an HIE Network, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 at 1 p.m. The HIMSS20 conference takes place from March 9-13 in Orlando, FL. It is the largest health IT conference, bringing together nearly 45,000 HIT professionals, clinicians, executives and market suppliers from around the world.