‘Let’s Take 5’ campaign will guide doctors in asking patients and recommending ways to help.
Doctors can help their patients address drivers of health (DOH) by asking questions and preparing to suggest solutions.
The Physicians Foundation has launched “Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health,” a new initiative to guide physicians in addressing economic and social conditions, also called social determinants of health (SDOH). The campaign starts with doctors asking patients about food security, housing stability, transportation access, utilities access, and interpersonal safety.
“As physicians, we are well aware of the significant burden that drivers of health have on our patients’ health, and the toll it takes on us when we are unable to adequately address them,” Physicians Foundation President Gary Price, MD, MBA, said in a statement.
“It is absolutely critical that physicians are given the support and resources they need to address these challenges,” Price said. “The Physicians Foundation is committed to providing solutions and strategies for physicians to not only have the ability to address their patients’ needs, but also be empowered to do so.”
The campaign has an implementation guide with five steps:
Physicians can use the Foundation’s Take 5 Conversation Starter to prepare their staff for conversations about DOH with patients. Preparation includes identifying local resources patients can use to overcome issues related to drivers of health.
In conjunction with the Let’s Take 5 campaign, The Physicians Foundation is supporting five medical groups with grants to help their members integrate DOH care in their medical practices.
“These five medical associations are leading the way to ensure that physicians and their teams have the tools they need to improve patients’ lives,” Price said. “Through the development of new resources and programs, we are working to make tailored patient care easier and more effective. Together, we will continue to be a catalyst for change so that our patients’ health and wellbeing are no longer dependent on the five key types of drivers of health.”
The Physicians Foundation offered these descriptions of recipients:
The campaign comes as a response to findings in The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians:
The Physicians Foundation program has developed as federal regulators also consider a new “Universal Foundation” for measuring patient health outcomes.
Earlier this year, Price spoke extensively with Medical Economics about CMS’ proposed Universal Foundation, a core set of quality measures that align across programs currently using their own criteria to assess physicians, clinicians, and health care settings. The measures for adult care fall into six domains, which include Equity and the measure “screening for social drivers of health.”
That federal leadership can become a meaningful step in how doctors, patients, and health care payers address DOH, according to The Physicians Foundation.