NCEAS Research

We bring together a multi-disciplinary community of trainees, educators, clinicians, researchers and community stakeholders to enhance social determinants of health training and dissemination of best practices.

Evaluating Innovation and Challenges to Social Determinants of Health Education in the Context of a Pandemic

It is unclear what the impact of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racism has been on approaches to train health professions students to address underlying causes of health inequities. For many institutions, there has been an abrupt shift in the methods used to deliver educational content. Most notably, many institutions are primarily relying on remote learning and limiting teaching within clinical and classroom settings. In addition, there may be rapid shifts in content being delivered. As a result, while there is clear urgency for training in SDOH and antiracism, it is unclear whether the pandemic and racial unrest have hindered or enhanced efforts to do so.

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Prevalence, Correlates and Predictive Value of ICD-10 Z Codes to Identify Social Determinants of Health That Affect Insured Adults’ Health and Health Care Use

In recent years, a growing understanding of the importance of social determinants of health (SDOH) has driven a flurry of efforts to identify and address health-related social needs in health care settings. One novel, national approach to identifying when SDOH influence demand for health care are SDOH-related Z codes (henceforth ‘Z codes’), which supersede the V codes used in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), Ninth Revision coding architecture (1). Z codes were introduced with the ICD, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) coding architecture in October 2015, and identify reasons for encounters when circumstances other than a disease or injury are recorded as diagnoses or problems. Codes Z55-65, along with a few other ICD-10 codes, specifically identify socioeconomic and psychosocial circumstances, and identify SDOH-related factors that can affect health care use.

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Developing an assessment and evaluation toolkit for social determinants of training in medical education and physician assistant education

While it is clearly established that the social determinants of health (SDH) have a large influence on health outcomes and are more prevalent among racial/ethnic minorities and those living in socioeconomically deprived communities (1), best practices for preparing healthcare professionals to address social conditions remain inconclusive. In this project, we propose developing a comprehensive SDH curriculum assessment and evaluation toolkit that can be widely disseminated to medical and physician assistant (PA) training programs.

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Identifying and Investigating How Health-Related Social Needs are Addressed in Interventions that Prevent Avoidable Health Care Use

Primary care is an ideal venue to engage patients with high social needs, identify and address health-related social needs (HRSNs), and coordinate efforts to reduce avoidable health care use. As current and future primary care clinicians care for patients within a health care system that increasingly emphasizes value-based care for high-needs populations (1) it is critical to generate evidence that can help care teams understand how to deliver whole-person care to improve outcomes for high-risk populations.

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Using geographic information systems and geospatial data to identify and address social determinants of health in clinical practice and training

Training primary care providers to use of geospatial data and geographic information systems (GIS) systems has the potential to improve patient outcomes both at a local level, as well as a national level as graduates disperse to diverse practice locations. This study examines best practices and effective models of integrating geospatial data and GIS into clinical care and provider training.

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Integrating Medical-Legal Partnerships to Address the Social Determinants of Health in Primary Care Clinical Practice and Training

Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLP) present an opportunity for medical students, residents and practitioners to develop practical approaches and skills to addressing social determinants of health and to practicing in interdisciplinary teams. This study examines various training models to prepare providers to practice in these settings.

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