Only 24% of hospitals screen for social determinants of health

About a quarter of U.S. hospitals screen patients for the five main social needs linked to health outcomes, according to a study published in JAMA Network Open.

For the study, researchers analyzed survey responses from a nationally representative group of 2,333 physician practices and 757 hospitals using the 2017-18 National Survey of Healthcare Organizations and Systems.

They sought to assess how many organizations self-reported screening patients for the following social needs:

  • Food insecurity
  • Housing instability
  • Utility needs
  • Transportation needs
  • Experience with interpersonal violence

Researchers found 24.4 percent of hospitals reported screening for all five social needs, compared to 15.6 percent of physician practices. Practices that served a larger population of disadvantaged patients were more likely to screen for health needs.

To view the full study, click here.

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