According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022), “Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the nonmedical factors that influence health outcomes. They are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life… SDOH are one of three priority areas for Healthy People 2030, along with health equity and health literacy. Healthy People 2030 sets data-driven national objectives in five key areas of SDOH: healthcare access and quality, education access and quality, social and community context, economic stability, and neighborhood and built environment. Some examples of SDOH included in Healthy People 2030 are safe housing, transportation, and neighborhoods; polluted air and water; and access to nutritious foods and physical health opportunities”.
Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity.
Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.
Reflect on the concept of social determinants of health as presented in the resources.
Contemplate whether digital inclusion or broad band access should be added to the 5 key areas of social determinants of health.
Using the optional outside resources or other peer reviewed journal articles, consider how electronic health records, mobile health, patient portals, or telemedicine can impact and be impacted by the social determinants of health.
BY DAY 3 OF WEEK 9
Post?a description of your views on whether or not digital inclusion or broad band access should be added as a key area to the social determinants of health. Be specific and provide examples that support your position. Explain how electronic health records, mobile health, patient portals, or telemedicine can impact and be impacted by the social determinants of health. Support your explanation with the required or optional resources.
Expert Solution Preview
Digital inclusion and broadband access are becoming increasingly important factors in healthcare and can potentially impact the social determinants of health. This essay will explore whether or not digital inclusion or broadband access should be considered a key area of social determinants of health, and how electronic health records, mobile health, patient portals, or telemedicine can intersect with the social determinants of health.
In my opinion, digital inclusion and broadband access should be added as key areas to the social determinants of health. The digital divide, which refers to the gap in access to digital technologies and the internet, has emerged as a significant issue that affects healthcare outcomes. Without digital inclusion and adequate broadband access, individuals may face barriers in accessing essential healthcare services and information, resulting in disparities in health outcomes.
One example of how digital inclusion can impact the social determinants of health is through telemedicine. Telemedicine involves the use of technology to provide remote healthcare services, such as consultations and monitoring. Access to telemedicine services relies heavily on digital infrastructure and internet connectivity. Therefore, individuals without broadband access may experience limited or no access to telemedicine, further exacerbating healthcare disparities and compromising their ability to receive timely and appropriate care.
Moreover, the social determinants of health can also impact the utilization and effectiveness of digital health tools. For instance, individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may have limited access to internet-enabled devices, such as smartphones or computers, due to financial constraints. This lack of access can hinder their ability to engage with electronic health records or utilize mobile health applications effectively, limiting their ability to manage their health and access necessary resources.
Another important consideration is the potential impact of digital inclusion on health equity. Access to digital technology and broadband services can enhance individuals’ health literacy and empower them to make informed decisions about their health. It can facilitate access to online health resources, educational materials, and self-management tools, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes. By including digital inclusion and broadband access as key areas of social determinants of health, policymakers and healthcare providers can prioritize strategies that bridge the digital divide and promote equitable access to digital health technologies.
In conclusion, digital inclusion and broadband access should be recognized and addressed as key areas of social determinants of health. The lack of digital access can hinder individuals’ ability to access healthcare services and engage with digital health tools, exacerbating existing health disparities. By considering the impact of digital technologies on the social determinants of health and implementing strategies to bridge the digital divide, we can work towards achieving health equity and improving overall population health.