Social Determinants of Health Screening Tool: PARTNERme

Healthcare leaders today are well aware that our social support directly impacts our health and well-being. Factors like housing, food security, employment and access to transportation are all major determinants of our health, along with our relationships that connect us to these resources. While many SDOH tools exist, few take a strength-based approach to strengthen patient trust and engagement, while also measuring their social connectedness more broadly. PARTNERme, our social determinants of health screening tool, is our innovative solution.

The State of Social Determinants of Health Screening Tools

There are many different SDOH screening questionnaires, apps, and other tools available today to meet the need of providers. However, nearly all of the current options on the market asks a patient to identify their social needs, and then refers them to community resources to help meet fill these gaps. While seemingly simple, this traditional approach has significant problems that limit its effectiveness for providers and patients alike. 

social determinants of health screening tool

A Need-Focused Approach is Ineffective with Patients.

First of all, this need-focused process ignores the fact that most patients already have a support network that they leverage to help meet their needs. It is often the case that a patient only needs additional support for one or two needs that aren’t being met by their personal network. Recognizing this with patients allows us to build trust with them by recognizing the ways they are already helping themselves. It also provide more targeted referrals to avoid overwhelming them with phone numbers and emails. Together, these effects improve patient engagement, a major obstacle to effective SDOH screening.

Most SDOH Screening Tools Don't Measure Connections.

Second, and more problematically, a standard social determinants of health screening tool does not directly measure a patient’s social support. Social connectedness is a significant predictor for health and well-being in and of itself. Data about a patient’s quantity and quality of supportive relationships gives providers another powerful insight to have more helpful patient conversations, and refer them to more appropriate community resources.

social determinants of health screening tool
Visible Network Labs - PARTNERme

PARTNERme is our solution to these problems: An integrated social determinants of health screening tool designed to improve patient engagement and follow-through, while giving providers another layer of data to use and track over time. The tool is currently in pilot testing, and we are always looking for new partners to help test it in the field. Please reach out to our team if you would like to learn more about using PARTNERme as part of your patient care program. We look forward to connecting!

How Does our Social Determinants of Health Screening Tool Work?

social determinants of health screening tool

Patients Identify Their Social Needs.

First, patients take a short tablet screening in the waiting room or at home before their appointment, identifying their pressing needs and other questions.

Patients Draw Their Support Network

PARTNERme then asks the patient to draw a map of their support networks, including who helps them with their needs, and which of them coordinate their care and support.

We Identify Unmet Needs for Referral

The tool then compares their identified social needs with their network to identify gaps, and provides a targeted list of referrals for the provider to share with the patient.

Reports & Scores Create Insight

The provider can view the patient’s results within the platform, in a PDF, or as a printout, and use its map and social connectedness scores to guide their intervention.

Connect with our Team!

Contact the VNL team to demo PARTNER™ or discuss a research or evaluation project. We can help you learn more about our services, help brainstorm project designs, and provide a custom scope based on your budget and needs. We look forward to connecting! 

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