Addressing SDOH in Underserved Communities

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The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the attention and conversation about social determinants of health (SDoH) disparities in many underserved areas — especially about access to healthcare, support networks and physical environments. A positive outcome from the 2020 pandemic is that technology innovation in healthcare has accelerated, providing rural and other underserved communities with new and increased ways to access healthcare and address SDoH. The use of telehealth from fall 2019 to summer 2020, on average, increased 145 percent, according to a recent study from HIMSS and Spectrum Enterprise. Additionally, 94 percent of healthcare organizations say they plan to continue investing in their technology infrastructure to support the ongoing increase of telehealth services after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide looks at how the pandemic has been a catalyst for telehealth and technology innovation in underserved and rural areas and how these innovations have simultaneously addressed SDoH.


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