AHIMA releases new policy statement regarding social determinants of health

Dec. 9, 2020

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) announced its Board of Directors has approved a new policy statement on the subject of social determinants of health (SDoH) – the economic and social conditions that influence the health and quality of life of individuals and populations.

The policy statement says AHIMA “supports the use of public policy to encourage the collection, access, sharing, and use of social determinants of health to enrich clinical decision-making and improve health outcomes, public health, and health inequities in ways that are culturally respectful.”

AHIMA releases policy statements to encourage and influence public policy, as part of its vision of a world where trusted information transforms health and healthcare by connecting people, systems, and ideas. The policy statement states that AHIMA believes public policy must:

·        Establish global standards to promote the capture, use, maintenance and sharing of SDoH data.

·         Promote health care delivery and financing models designed to integrate SDoH data into the clinical setting in ways that are culturally respectful.

·         Build patient trust and foster positive patient-provider relationships to encourage patients to share their social challenges.

·         Enhance the sharing of SDoH data across clinical and community-based organizations and service providers.

·         Prioritize privacy.

·         Recognize workforce training needs.

·         Promote the ethical collection and use of SDoH data.

·         Embrace the role of health information professionals.

AHIMA President/Chair Ginna Evans, MBA, RHIA, CPC, CRC, FAHIMA, who serves on the AHIMA Board of Directors, said she was proud the Board approved this new policy statement.

AHIMA has the release.