Highmark, Gravity Project partner to develop social determinants of health data standards in EHRs

Pittsburgh-based insurer Highmark joined the Gravity Project, a Health Level Seven International interoperability collaborative that aims to standardize medical data used to identify social determinants of health.

The Gravity Project is part of the HL7 Fast Health Interoperability Resource Accelerator program, which supports organizations that create guidelines and products to enhance the development and adoption of FHIR, one of the most popular interoperability standards for health data exchange.

Highmark will financially support the Gravity Project's efforts in project management, project oversight for specific use case-driven projects and the development of SDOH-enabled FHIR-based standards.

The Gravity Project develops national standards for SDOH data reported in EHRs. The initiative standardizing medical codes to represent SDOH data in EHRs across multiple clinical activities: screening, diagnosis, planning and interventions. The project centralizes on three social risk domains: food insecurity, housing instability and transportation access.

"Highmark continues to double-down on efforts to address barriers to health and well-being, and the Gravity Project serves as another important piece of the puzzle by creating the infrastructure to standardize the capture of SDOH insights, which will support advancements in population health management activities, right now and for years to come," Highmark SDOH health director Deborah Donovan said in a news release.

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