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Assessing eHI’s Guiding Principles for Ethical Use of SDOH Data During COVID-19

Social Determinants of Health

Assessing eHI’s Guiding Principles for Ethical Use of SDOH Data During COVID-19

November 30, 2020

eHealth Initiative & Foundation (eHI) released a report in partnership with the Health Care business of LexisNexis Risk Solutions entitled Assessing eHI’s Guiding Principles for Ethical Use of SDOH Data During COVID-19: Examples from the FieldThe report describes the ways in which stakeholders collect and utilize social determinants of health (SDOH) data to create targeted interventions for vulnerable populations. 

In 2019, eHI released the Guiding Principles for Ethical Use of Social Determinants of Health Data, which proposed recommendations for the ethical use of SDOH data by healthcare organizations. Today’s report delivers findings from a panel of experts convened from government, health care providers, and community-based organizations, who each presented examples of how the five guiding principles were applied during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The five guiding principles involve how to ethically:

  • Employ SDOH in care coordination
  • Recognize risk through analytics
  • Map resources and identify gaps
  • Assess impact
  • Customize interventions and allow individuals to determine the best fit

The report emphasizes the importance of applying the Guiding Principles in ways that are transparent, respectful, and effective. “So many factors can impact a person’s health, factors that go beyond just a clinical diagnosis. We have an obligation to our communities to effectively and ethically apply SDOH analytics to identify those who need additional care services that can dramatically improve their health,” said Josh Schoeller, CEO at the Health Care business of LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

“As we continue to face this unprecedented health challenge, the ethical use of SDOH data improves healthcare and community organizations’ ability to provide the right interventions," said Jen Covich Bordenick, CEO of eHI. “We were pleased to join with LexisNexis Risk Solutions to highlight how organizations have stepped up to meet the needs of communities who are most impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this report provides insights on how to provide whole-person healthcare.

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