Using Interventional Informatics to Address Social Determinants of Health During Clinical Care Visits to Promote Behavior Change and Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The Opportunity

Childhood obesity is a well-known issue in America, and one in five adolescents has prediabetes. The healthcare system needs additional tools to help prediabetic adolescents exercise more often and eat healthier. The problem presented is how to increase disadvantaged families’ access to education, healthy foods, and safe places to play and exercise. Providers need a means to help these patients without taking on the large burden of addressing community barriers.

Electronic Health Records (EHR), while they frustrate many physicians, provide a mechanism to overcome this challenge by automating the delivery of personalized prescriptions for behavior change. When working alongside the tool PREVENT, which uses EHR to deliver patient-centered behavior change, providers can address these larger community challenges.

Our Approach

The project aimed to integrate the existing PREVENT tool into the BJC EHR system, which was then deployed in a single clinic. The team examined the facilitators and barriers to implement PREVENT and observed patient and provider interactions when the PREVENT tool was used at point-of-care. They identified provider and patient perceptions of barriers to “real-world” delivery of the tool to evaluate adoption and maintenance.

The Solution

At the conclusion of this pilot, it was determined that PREVENT is a pragmatic approach to prevention that may be scaled across disease types, patient age groups, physicians, and clinics to reduce disparities associated with many other diseases.