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Database, Data standards, Electronic health records, Social determinants of health, Systematic review



  1. Venzon, Aldreen MS, BSN, RN
  2. Le, Thuy Bich
  3. Kim, Katherine PhD, MPH, MBA


This systematic review explored the current state of social determinants of health data in electronic systems in the literature, specifically (1) how the data are currently collected, captured, and coded; (2) the modes employed to capture these data; and (3) the electronic systems used to acquire data. This assessment serves as a precursor to an actual survey of healthcare organizations, which will be a national-level effort for evaluating a real-time collection of social health data. By evaluating published information on electronic social determinants of health, we get baseline evidence on the state of these data in the literature as used by nurses, physicians, administrators, researchers, and educators. Two reviewers systematically evaluated articles on social determinants of health and electronic systems. Five data elements were abstracted and analyzed, including the type of social determinants of health data, data capture method, data structure, data standard, and source of data. Forty-two articles were included in the final review. The most common social health data domains were neighborhood and community compositional characteristics. Social health data were rarely found in electronic health records. When these data were captured, they were often manually captured in a structured format.