Project Helps Doctors Understand Patients’ Life Issues

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Latino families are often lack economic support and healthcare they need, which jeopardizes their kids’ academic, social, and physical development, according to Salud America! research.

But two San Antonio organizations may have the solution.

healthyhispanicliving.com

Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas is giving $175,000 to HASA—the health information exchange for San Antonio and other parts of the state—to expand their services by adding socioeconomic factors like housing, access to healthy food, and more social issues to patient’s medical records, according to the San Antonio Business Journal.

What does that mean?

It means that healthcare providers will get a better look at a patients’ health history, including clinical, social and behavioral risk. This will arm doctors with information to connect patients with community services and reduce costly emergency visits, according to the news report.

“Research shows that the reasons people seek medical care are not limited to physical or emotional [concerns] but are more affected by social conditions such as housing, transportation and the ability to eat regularly,” HASA Executive Director Gijs van Oort told San Antonio Business Journal.

This project has the potential to promote better health services that will help San Antonio (68% Latino) and other Latino areas.

Latinos are less likely to seek health screenings or preventive care than their black and white peers, according to American Heart Association news and Salud America!. A telephone survey showed that factors like role of health insurance, mental health, community priorities, role of government play a role in Latinos going to the hospital. It is important to mention that factors such as housing, employment and transportation are not typical factors that a health provider take under consideration.

Psychologists also are working to tackle the social factors affecting physical and mental health, according to an article by American Psychological Association. By pursuing new research, psychologists are tackling more questions related to socioeconomic factors. They have created a screening instrument for children and parental health.

In research done by the National Governors Association, providing people with a place to live will have an impact in health care.

“Current efforts to improve our health-care system have reinvigorated the discussion around the critical role of social determinants in improving health and well-being,” said Dr. Sandra Wilkniss of the National Governors Association.

Research shows that the reasons people seek medical care are not limited to physical or emotional [concerns] but are more affected by social conditions such as housing, transportation and the ability to eat regularly.

Gijs Van Oort
Executive Director, HASA

By The Numbers By The Numbers

84

percent

of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs.

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