Where people live and work influences how long and how well they live. Clinicians can help keep patients healthy by encouraging health care organizations to support community investments that improve conditions that contribute to health risks, outcomes, and costs. These conditions-the social determinants of health-include housing, transportation, jobs, and educational opportunities. Hospitals and health systems have assets-financial capital, land, and expertise, for example-that can be used to help support community health. Clinicians are uniquely positioned to collect data and ask questions in support of effective partnerships that address the root causes of poor health.
Hacke, R., & Gaskins, A. (2019). How can clinicians catalyze investments to improve community health? AMA Journal of Ethics, 21(3), 262–268. https://doi.org/10.1001/amajethics.2019.262