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How community health needs assessments can assist emergency providers in tackling social determinants of health

Emergency physician Dr. Gray uses Austin’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) to identify the city’s health issues. Noticing higher obesity and diabetes rates, he uses the CHNA to understand the impact of housing insecurity, food deserts and gentrification on these health factors. Incorporating these insights into care, Dr. Gray investigates patients’ living conditions and provides relevant community-based assistance. The authors stress that emergency providers can use CHNAs to improve patient-centered care, identifying social determinants affecting health outcomes, thereby reducing unnecessary emergency visits and enhancing overall community well-being.

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