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Whole-Person Healthcare

HealthEC Media Coverage

March 1, 2020

Medical data alone tells an incomplete story of the patient; providers are beginning to look beyond the patient medical record at the socioeconomic circumstances that influence health quality. Called social determinants of health, these nonmedical elements help providers to better understand their patient's history by also factoring in their vulnerabilities. In other words, the addition of this data tells a more complete story.

Asthma is one of the most significant chronic diseases in pediatric medicine, affecting seven million children in the United States. According to one study, asthma exacerbation accounts for "an estimated 14 million missed school days and more than 1.8 million emergency department visits each year.

The most significant nonphysiological determinants of multiple emergency department (ED) visits and admissions for childhood asthma include race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic disparities. The links between childhood asthma and social and environmental disparities have been established for decades, but the ability to incorporate those factors into the healthcare journey of an individual or population have been sporadic. Continue reading

Journal of Ahima