PwC: 5 ways to address social determinants of health

Healthcare organizations must rethink how they are approaching social determinants of health to see significant improvements in disease burden and health costs, according to a new report from PwC Health Research Institute.

The report is based on PwC's 2019 HRI global consumer survey of nearly 8,000 people across eight territories. HRI researchers also analyzed more than 20 global case studies on social determinants of health plans and interviewed healthcare executives, government leaders and community organization board members between April and July 2019.

Five report takeaways:

1. Thirty-five percent of respondents cited lack of sleep as the main impediment to a healthier lifestyle, followed by too much technology use (26 percent) and lack of motivation to become healthier (22 percent).

2. Twenty-two percent of respondents who reported "poor" or "very poor" health said mental health issues prevented them from adopting a healthier lifestyle.

3. More than one-third of survey respondents said they had not discussed social determinants of health with key stakeholders, such as physicians, pharmacists or therapists.

4. Forty-seven percent of respondents said healthcare providers are not sharing their predictions about what healthcare services patients may require in the future.

5. PwC researchers outlined five steps healthcare organizations can take to prioritize social determinants of health based on their reviews of global case studies:

  • Build the collective will
  • Develop standard but adaptable frameworks
  • Generate data insights to inform decision-making
  • Engage and reflect the community
  • Measure and redeploy

To learn more about these steps and read case studies from other successful social determinants of health plans, click here.

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