It’s become increasingly understood that social determinants of health, or SDOHs, play a big role in our well-being. Medecision, an integrated health management company supporting virtual care and digital health, is bringing SDOHs to the forefront through the release of its new aerial social care coordinator. 

“We see that 50 to 80 percent of an individual’s health outcome is affected by their social determinants of health,” Medecision CEO Ken Young said to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “These are very sensitive issues that individuals are sometimes hesitant to talk about. So creating a non-threatening consumer experience is a way to address the challenges of this person’s individual needs and to do it in an empathetic way was our first and foremost priority, Building out a way to effectively communicate with the individuals but also providing that clinical teams the necessary information around that person’s care or that person’s situation is important.”

As defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SDOHs are the conditions in our environments that affect a wide range of health outcomes. The five domains these conditions fall under are economic stability, education access and quality, healthcare access and quality, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context.

Aerial is a software designed to identify and fill in SDOH gaps that might get neglected in other aspects of care. It can arrange transportation for individuals, keep caregivers connected with other involved health professionals, and track data and analytics, among other functions. This creates a closed loop all-in-one system.

“Instead of handing that referral off to another organization, right then and there [you] can order that transportation to and from to the facility at home,” Young said. “The real-time challenge at that inflection point is to keep that continuing care happening so that the individual does not relapse or end up back in the hospital.”

While this is only the beginning of Medecision’s foray into SDOHs, Young hopes that their inclusion into care practices becomes commonplace. Treating the symptoms rather than the root cause of a problem will only perpetuate it further.

“If we look at it from a societal perspective, no one debates the need to address the socially-vulnerable population. I think that is something that we need to continue to invest in,” Young said. 

Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or quirky happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at [email protected].