AHA comments on ONC efforts to standardize social determinants of health data in EHRs

The AHA supports adding data classes and elements to future versions of the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability to capture standardized data on social determinants of health, but suggests prioritizing technical infrastructure development, incorporating lessons learned and continuing investments in real-world testing, the association told the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology yesterday. 

“[Electronic health records] can be an important tool to support collection of these data necessary to gain key insights at the patient and population health levels and build data-driven interventions,” AHA wrote. “Yet, many of the challenges in collecting these data are not technical in nature, but rather stem from the need to create a value proposition for patients to share highly personal information and provide training and resources to support those engaging directly with patients in data collection. Additionally, the proliferation of requests to collect and share SDOH data in non-standard ways adds complexity and duplication for health care providers as well as for patients.”