Systematically Assess and Apply SDOH Data from Across Federal Agencies for Use in and Outside of Government
A wide range of stakeholders would benefit from a deeper understanding of available sources of SDOH data across the federal government. Efforts are already underway to inventory and assess federal data sources that can be made available at a granular enough level to be relevant to individuals and communities. By focusing on data with particular relevance to the COVID-19 pandemic, this work could be expanded, accelerating current efforts to improve the use of SDOH data overall. This effort could serve as a basis for a longer-term goal of identifying core social needs and SDOH indicators. While HHS is well positioned to move this work forward, most government-collected SDOH data is already published as open data, making it possible for nongovernmental actors to help assess and aggregate federal SDOH data as well.
Next step: Continue ongoing efforts to inventory federal SDOH data sources with a focus on relevance to COVID-19. Coordinate and consult with data stakeholders to understand what may be missing from current assessments.
Impact: A systematic understanding of federal SDOH data will make it easier to apply to a range of use cases including assessing risks, identifying locations for public testing sites, and directing resources to the hardest hit communities.
Who can take action: Federal agencies, including HHS, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration and other agencies with data on housing, food insecurity, income, employment, transportation, and other SDOH factors. Healthcare institutions (eg. the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has done significant work on the SDOH), healthcare providers, healthcare analytics companies, nonprofit research organizations.