In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness around social determinants of health (e.g, income, safe housing, access to healthy food and reliable transportation options) and their impact on individuals’ health. Per the commitment of the Physician Charter which states that physicians must “actively participate in the development of better measures of quality of care and the application of quality measures to assess routinely the performance of all individuals, institutions, and systems responsible for health care delivery,” physicians and the organizations in which they work are beginning to focus on social factors that shape their patients’ health and are creating programs to address these issues.
Bridging Gaps To Better Health
The 2017 ABIM Foundation Forum convened a diverse group of doctors, patients, educators, students and health care professionals in robust discussions about social determinants of health and ways to integrate community services to improve health outcomes. Participants shared stories and ideas on how health care organizations can work outside of their walls and generated action items to bring back to their home institutions. The Forum background paper highlights both the challenges and opportunities facing physicians and their organizations. The Forum Summary details conversations and highlights from the meeting.