What Are Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)?

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) play a vital role in one’s quality of life. SDOH take on many different forms and relate to many aspects of life including where one chooses to live and work along with everything in between. The factors from these environments in turn have the power to influence our health and quality of life. To learn more about understanding SDOH and predicting care outcomes, read our previous blog post The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly changed the way we do many things, and aging safely and independently has come to the forefront. With that comes a greater need for homecare and technology that can keep up. Generations Homecare System is doing its part by providing up-to-date, state-of-the-art technology to homecare providers and their caregivers, in order to create the best experiences for those they serve.

How Has COVID-19 Affected the Home Care Industry?

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly put a spotlight on the importance of homecare as this shift has allowed more people to see the power the industry has and it further emphasizes the need for safe environments with the personal assistance of caregivers. The need for safe care at home has come to fruition all while helping keep patients out of over-run hospitals. A William Blair survey discussed in a Forbes article found, “81% of physicians responsible for discharge planning now prefer to refer their patients to a home health agency versus a skilled nursing facility, a figure that is up from 54% before the pandemic.” Many people rely on caregivers to help monitor and assist their loved ones while reducing hospital readmissions.

What Effect does COVID-19 have on Social Determinants of Health?

Social Determinants of Health take on many forms and are impacted by many factors, including COVID-19. Research shared by the Kaiser Family Foundation stated the following:

  • More than one in seven adults (16.0%) reported that they or someone in their household had experienced a loss of employment income in the past four weeks;
  • More than half (52.3%) of adults reported difficulty paying for usual household expenses in the past 7 days, and 30.5% used credit cards or loans to meet household spending needs;
  • 7% of adults had no confidence in their ability to make next month’s housing payment (across renters and owners), and 9.4% reported food insufficiency in their household;
  • Nearly one in three (31.5%) adults reported symptoms of depression or anxiety.

The direct linkage between COVID-19 and SDOH further proves why they need to be closely monitored. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health stated, “Mitigating social determinants—such as improved housing, reduced overcrowding, and improved nutrition—reduces the effect of infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, even before the advent of effective medications.” New technologies offer efficient ways to monitor risk factors in real-time.

Planning Care During COVID-19

Staying on top of SDOH allows homecare providers to properly plan care and help to ensure clients are living the highest quality of life possible given their circumstances. Generations Homecare System has unique COVID-19 tracking tools that allow care providers to efficiently track and monitor COVID-19 symptoms within their workforce before they are sent out to see clients. Learn more about some of these features below:

  • COVID-19 Caregiver Screening: Caregiver screening in Generations allows caregivers to be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before visits. If a caregiver does not pass the screening questions, they are unable to check in to their visit and are flagged to follow-up with the administrator. This feature helps to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission when performed before their shift, allowing agency supervisors to send in backup caregivers
  • Vaccination Tracking: Innovative technology in Generations makes tracking COVID-19 vaccination statuses easy. Clients and their family members appreciate having the ability to request care be provided by vaccinated caregivers. This helps to plan care in the best interest of care recipients, especially those who are immunocompromised. 
  • The Wellness tool: Monitor risk factors in real-time using the Generations Homecare System wellness tool. Caregivers complete wellness questions during visits and if any answers raise concern, action can be taken swiftly. Click here to see wellness questions we recommend adding.

Generations Homecare System helps homecare providers streamline daily tasks, maintain compliance, connect care teams, and much more. To learn more about the features that Generations has to offer your care team, download the overview booklet using the button below.