North Carolina taps Phreesia to help with social determinants of health

With its technology, providers across the state will gain access to standardized SDOH screening questions, helping identify patients with unmet social needs.
By Mike Miliard
10:35 AM

As part of its Healthy Opportunities Initiative, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has enlisted Phreesia to help health systems statewide learn more about their patients' social determinants of health.

WHY IT MATTERS
Phreesia, patient intake platform is able to screen patients for unmet social and environmental needs that could be adversely affecting their health.

It poses questions patients about various social factors and can deliver real-time alerts for providers and care coordinators, helping them better target care interventions. In addition, its analytics and reporting help health systems with population health management.

Phreesia's technology will deliver North Carolina's Standardized Social Determinants of Health Screening Questions to providers across the state – helping them spot patients who may be helped by addressing certain social factors, enabling providers to be more attuned to their holistic health.

Additionally, NCCARE360, North Carolina's first coordinated network connecting healthcare and human service providers, is being deployed statewide, making it easier to connect people with resources according to their needs.

THE LARGER TREND
Phreesia, which went public earlier this summer, points to research from Kaiser Permanente that suggests most patients want their providers to ask about their social needs and help connect them to resources.

As Healthcare IT News focuses this month on social determinants of health, we've been exploring the wide variety of factors – from housing to food insecurity to domestic safety – that can have huge effects on a person's health.

In North Carolina, according to the state DHHS, more than 1.2 million people cannot find affordable housing, and one in 28 children under age six is homeless. More than one in five children are living in food-insecure households, and nearly half (47 percent) of North Carolina women say they have experienced intimate partner violence.

Helping connect these people with community-based programs could help, and many new initiatives are being launched to do just that. But first, providers need to know that their patients are in need.

ON THE RECORD
"To advance the health and well-being of North Carolinians, we need to build a coordinated, whole person-centered system that addresses both medical and non-medical drivers of health," said DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy K. Cohen in a statement. "Our partnership with Phreesia will make it easier for doctors and other health care providers to ask patients about their non-medical health needs, which are a critical component of their overall health."

"We're excited to collaborate and support NC DHHS on this important initiative," said Phreesia CEO Chaim Indig. "Helping providers identify patients' social needs allows us to further our mission of improving the healthcare experience, and we look forward to continuing this work in communities across the country."

Focus on Social Determinants of Health

In September, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare IT News and MobiHealthNews will take a look at the SDOH and how varied health systems, IT companies, Congress and others are addressing it.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.