IOM Panel Identifies 12 Social, Behavioral Measures for EHRs

November 13, 2014 in News

On Thursday, the Institute of Medicine released a report detailing 12 social and behavioral factors it feels should be included in electronic health records, FierceEMR reports.

Report Details

The report is the second part of a two-phase study — conducted by a 13-member IOM committee — that will serve as a guide for federal officials finalizing criteria for meaningful use Stage 3 (Hall, FierceEMR, 11/13).

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

The study was commissioned by:

  • CDC;
  • CMS;
  • NIH;
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and
  • Other organizations.

The first report — which was released in April — identified 17 domains using two criteria — strength of evidence and the information’s usefulness — to help decide what social and behavioral information should be included in EHRs (iHealthBeat, 4/9).


The second report identified 12 measures related to 11 of the initial domains that it examined for inclusion in EHRs (IOM report, 11/12). Those measures are:

  • Alcohol use;
  • Depression;
  • Educational attainment;
  • Financial resource strain;
  • Intimate partner violence for women of reproductive age;
  • Median household income;
  • Physical activity;
  • Race/Ethnicity;
  • Residential address;
  • Stress;
  • Social isolation; and
  • Tobacco use.

The six domains removed from the list were deemed a lower priority, according to the report. However, the IOM panel could add all or some of them at a later time (FierceEMR, 11/13).

In the report, the committee noted that adding these domains to EHRs could put more pressure on providers. However, the authors also noted that patients could report the data via their personal health records or a computer, which would not greatly disrupt providers’ workflow.

In addition, IOM said the health benefits of including these domains outweigh the administrative burden (Gold, Politico Pro, 11/13).

According to FierceEMR, IOM’s second report did not examine the feasibility of collecting the data (FierceEMR, 11/13).

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