Roshni Patel, senior solutions engineer with Interactive Health is combining technology with her public health experience and passion to use social determinants of health (SDOH) in a new and different way. Where individuals live, work and play can affect health risks and outcomes. Understanding SDOH such as safe neighborhoods, education and access to healthy foods are helping clients understand their workforce on a deeper level to achieve optimal employee health and wellbeing.

Roshni shares how she helps our clients

I have always been a “data geek” with a passion for helping individuals reach and maintain optimal health.  When given the opportunity to help our clients use SDOH data within their corporate wellness strategy, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

The vast amount of literature produced over the past few years on the topic of SDOH makes one think that this is a new discovery. However, documentation that social factors have an important impact on people’s health started with the 19th century sanitary campaigns in Europe. A renewed concern with social factors emerged in 2007 in global public health, spearheaded by the World Health Organization’s Commission on Social Determinants of Health and as one of the Healthy People 2020 overarching population health goals for the decade.

So, what is the new take on this age-old topic? A one-size-fits-all employee wellness program is no longer effective to improve the health and wellbeing of an employee population. Interactive Health is using SDOH to customize wellness programs to better address the unique needs of our clients in geographic locations with unique health challenges.

I access client-specific county level SDOH data through a proprietary national consumer database with data points on over 220 million adult US citizens.  This database includes individual demographics, consumer behavior attributes and 60 sub-categories of geographic level descriptors of health collected from publicly available sources such as the US Census, County Health Rankings and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Once the analysis is complete we consult with the client to review and provide strategic recommendations. For example: I recently collected SDOH data on 7 counties in 6 states for a large manufacturing client. The analysis revealed that most locations had difficulties accessing a physician in their communities, but the wellness programming recommendations varied from location to location due to additional SDOH factors also taken into consideration.

For the Arkansas county location, we recommended giving access to a health coach for lifestyle coaching while implementing an onsite clinic to increase access and connection to care was a better option for the Mississippi and Ohio county locations. Some issues and recommendations were unique to the location such as smoking and higher average crime rates in Arkansas and mental and financial health concerns in Ohio.

We continue to add resources and personalized educational journeys based on where employees work, live and play. Check out our Podcast and register here for our webinar on how SDOH can play an important role in your wellness programming strategy.

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