AHRQ study: EDs should uniformly collect, use social needs data

Emergency departments should uniformly collect and use health-related social needs data, according to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality study. Patients, ED providers and staff differed on how to collect and act upon the data. The authors conducted 24 qualitative interviews with eight patients, eight ED providers and eight staff at one Midwestern hospital during 2022 and 2023. They found health-related social needs information is available when patients choose to disclose it. ED providers and staff preferred to directly converse with patients to attain the information, instead of using chart review or screening questionnaires. Although patients wanted ED staff to connect them to relevant resources, staff often faced limited resources. They urge EDs to more effectively coordinate health-related social needs’ data collection and use. (AHRQ News Now article, 6/25/24)