A recently published study from Indiana researchers at the Regenstrief Institute and IUPUI identifies what conditions patients may face based on their social situations. They look “upstream” to try to predict and prevent illness.
The study focused on the conditions that most impact health including the physical, economic, behavioral and social environments where people are born, live and die.
Director at the Center for Health Policy at Fairbanks and Regenstrief researcher Josh Vest says they used historical data from patients in Indiana.
“We can use that and combine it with other data sources like about food deserts, or high crime areas, or areas where there is a lot of mortality and morbidity,” says Vest.
They were able to determine that more than half were in need of some services to address social determinants, including financial restraints, or a lack of transportation.
Vest says they used these determinants to predict why and how people became sick.
“These are the reasons why people don’t go to appointments, why the can’t keep up with the medications, why they don’t do the ongoing monitoring of their health conditions or they are unable to make the behavioral changes that clinicians want them to make to be healthier,” say Vest.
The research comes as the health care industry moves to a more preventative model. The data could help improve quality of care and reduce costs.