American Academy of Nursing Endorses Social Behavioral Determinants of Health in Electronic Health Records

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The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Expert Panel on Informatics & Technology became a member of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI) in 2014. The AAN serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The AAN and its members create and execute knowledge and policy-related initiatives to drive reform of America's health system. Within the AAN, expert panels represent the working groups and allow the Academy to have a forum where Academy Fellows with expertise in specialty areas can meet. The AAN Expert Panel on Informatics & Technology focused on the publications of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Reports on “Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records”1,2 that resulted in an AAN Policy Brief entitled “Putting ‘Health’ in the Electronic Record: A Call for Collective Action.”3 As the Informatics & Technology expert panel chair, at the time, and lead author, I am thrilled to share with ANI members highlights from the Policy Brief that was coauthored by other esteemed expert panel members and with input from all Informatics & Technology members along with expert panel chairs of the Quality, LGBTQ, Military/Veterans, Bioethics, and Building Healthcare System Excellence.
The intention of the AAN and the expert panel was to leverage the recommendations put forth from the IOM, as well as to explore barriers to capturing social and behavioral determinants of health (SBDH) in the electronic health record (EHR) and to create some collective “action items” for diverse stakeholders. The IOM recommendation calls for implementation of a standardized assessment panel of approximately 20 questions addressing the following: alcohol use, race/ethnicity, residential address, tobacco use, median household income, depression; educational attainment, financial resource strain, intimate partner violence for women of reproductive age, physical activity, social isolation, and stress.
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