Improving Health Equity: Truveta’s Goal

Charlotte Baker, the director of epidemiology and health equity officer for Trubeta, Inc., is passionate about data. Truveta, which collects anonymized patient data from over 700 hospitals nationwide, now offers more data and insights on social determinants of health. Baker affirms that this data can be used to save lives and help close the health disparities gap.

Truveta is supported by 28 major healthcare systems, including Providence, Tenet Healthcare, Northwell Health, Advocate Aurora Health, AdventHealth, and more. Earlier this year, Truveta added information on 28 social determinants of health, including income, education, and housing needs, to the nearly 80 million anonymized patient trips. In partnership with Lexis-Nexis Risk Solutions, Truveta now offers over 400 different social factors of health for those seeking more insight.

Truveta’s recent focus on the social determinants of health that affect maternal health outcomes is timely. According to federal data, maternal mortality remains a serious problem, with maternal deaths in 2021 up 40% from the previous year. Truveta is looking at the social determinants of health data for pre-eclampsia and heart failure risk. The data reveal that patients with data available within a few thousand dollars beyond arbitrary income levels, such as whether the patient earns more or less than $25,000 a year, are more likely to struggle to pay for groceries. Baker explains that this information can help answer questions related to medication intake that require food.

Truveta has obtained doctor’s notes on patients, which could provide important information to aid in the determination of the causes of health problems. With further insight into the causes of patient health problems, Baker says that interventions can be better generated.

Baker stresses the importance of prevention and points out that hospitals may need to partner with social services or government agencies for some programs. Smaller hospitals, in particular, need to work with local partners on issues such as housing, food, and education programs.

In conclusion, Baker emphasizes that partnerships are essential to solve health issues. Truveta’s wealth of data on the social determinants of health can be used to make a real difference in the health of communities.

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