American Hospital Association Takes a Look at the Social Determinants of Health

June 20, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Only 20% of a person's individual health outcomes are tied to clinical care, according to a recent presentation about the social determinants of health from the American Hospital Association. Socioeconomic factors (40%); health behavior factors (30%); and the physical environment (10%) drive the remaining 80% of outcomes. Social determinants that affect an individual's health include economic stability, including employment; the neighborhood they live in; their education level; access to healthy food; community and social contexts; and accessibility of quality healthcare. Hospitals and health systems can address the social determinants of health in many ways, the American Hospital Association said. These include internal methods (such as screening, connecting patients with community resources, and implementing hospital-wide initiatives) and external methods (such as partnering and investing in the local community).

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