Improving Care with
Patient Data

What Are Social Determinants of Health?

Social determinants of health are the nonmedical factors that can impact your well-being and ability to live a healthy life.

Where and how you live affects how easily and often you can access care services. Other social determinants of health include the economy, education level, the environment, food, housing, public safety, race and ethnicity, and transportation. These factors determine 80 percent of your health.

At Emory Healthcare, we know when we understand more about your life outside the exam room, we can better address all aspects of your well-being. For this reason, we ask you to share more personal information with us. We do not want to pry. We just want to help improve healthcare access for you and everyone in our community.

Helping Everyone Access the Best Care

We are on a mission to understand healthcare inequalities. We do not want to make assumptions about your needs, condition, or situation. Our doctors and nurses want to build trusting relationships with you and your family.

We hope you feel comfortable enough to tell us things like:

  • How you want to be identified
  • How we can provide care that fits into your culture
  • Obstacles that prevent you from getting care
  • Ways we can help

You deserve high-quality care whenever you need it. For example, we have assistance resources if you need help with transportation or paying for prescriptions.

How Personal Information Impacts Your Health

When you update or share your personal information, you make it easier for us to give you the best care.

You can do this online through MyChart or by talking to your doctor or nurse during an office appointment or hospital visit.

Studies show data like your income, living situation, race, sexual orientation and gender identity amongst others can greatly impact your health. And by collecting ethnicity information, we now know different conditions and health events affect people of various backgrounds differently, such as:

Overcoming Barriers to Health Care Access

Whenever a factor in your life changes, it is important to update your health and personal information with your healthcare provider. This way, if you face an obstacle and cannot receive care, we can provide resources and assistance

If you face barriers related to food, housing, language, safety, or transportation, we can help remove them. We can connect you with Emory Healthcare programs or agencies that provide resources, such as:

  • Access to healthy food
  • Affordable housing
  • Language assistance
  • Legal assistance
  • Reduced medicine costs
  • Transportation vouchers

You need all your energy to get well when you are injured, sick, or living with a chronic condition. Worries about bills, food, or housing can make you feel worse.

Importance of Language Assistance

We want you to understand your care and treatment plans fully. If English is not your preferred language, we offer language assistance from medical interpreters. They ensure you and your family know your treatment options and get answers to your questions.

Clear communication and education are essential to your overall health. Current information shows people with a limited understanding of English:

  • Experience more harm from safety incidents than fluent English speakers.
  • Spend almost three more days in the hospital than fluent English speakers.

And longer hospital stays can lead to a higher risk of infection and increased costs. Language really matters. When you do go home, it’s important to understand what you need to do to recover well.

Collaborative Health Care Solutions

At Emory Healthcare, we work with community partners to address all factors that impact your health. We meet you in the moment and provide the resources you need.

Our partners include churches and community agencies. Together, we offer education and health screenings to everyone. We work to uncover health disparities by studying the data and our health system outcomes. In striving to provide health care equally, we consider zip codes, gender identities, ethnicities, and race.

Then, we create new solutions to improve the conditions that impact your health.

Share Your Information With Us

You can share your personal information with us at any time.

  • Go online and use the MyChart Patient Portal
  • Share details with your emergency room or hospital care team
  • Talk with your primary care doctor or nurse
Emory Healthcare’s platforms are secure and HIPAA-compliant, which ensures the people involved in your care can use the data you share to improve your care. Emory Healthcare does not sell your data to third parties. You can read more about patient privacy and your rights, our website privacy policy, and other policies at