Opinion: Jill Olmstead on Harnessing Data to Understand Social Determinants of Health

“It’s been a whirlwind week since Health Datapalooza 2020. I have to admit that I was glad for the opportunity to take Presidents’ Day to reflect on things a bit. Where are we going as we make new efforts to harness data for the benefit of health?”

“This year’s themes of advancing data analytics and applications; ensuring data privacy and security; and transforming patient care drove important discussion around the challenges that face us now and around the corner. Population health. Social determinants of health. Data donation. Mobile health. Wearables…”

“While they were all great sessions, I think the discussions about social determinants of health were particularly powerful and compelling as they threaded through nearly every session. A real chorus of voices emerged, recognizing that health isn’t something to be gained in a hospital or doctor’s office, or only when you have good health insurance. It’s much more than these things. Churches, food banks and other community-based organizations play a key role.”

“I am proud to say that we know how to harness the data to help people understand social determinants of health much better than just a few years ago. However, the real deal is knowing how to take action. This is where Federal agencies will need to broaden their partnerships and engage in new ways if they want to make a real dent in changing health for the better. Accenture is working with a number of different agencies to help on this front.”

“How can your organization move forward?”

“Manage data at scale. We see many agencies that have taken innovative approaches with pilot programs designed to harness their data…” Read the full article here.

Source: Harnessing Data to Understand Social Determinants of Health – By Jill Olmstead, February 18, 2020. LinkedIn.

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