Social Determinants of Health

This program, Building the Capacity of South Carolina Community Pharmacies to Intervene on the Social Determinants of Health, is a joint effort between a team at the University of South Carolina (USC) and the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). Funding is provided by the Duke Endowment.

We are working to build the capacity of community pharmacists throughout South Carolina to address SDOH experienced by their patients. Community pharmacies represent an untapped resource for delivering value-based care and are critical access points to our state’s most vulnerable residents, especially in rural areas. Participating pharmacies are members of the CPESN South Carolina. Patients of CPESN pharmacists are 20% more adherent to prescribed medication, 45% less likely for in-patient hospital admission, and 15% less likely to visit an emergency room.1 Such wins are due in no small part to the willingness of community pharmacists to address, even if informally, the social determinants of health (SDOH) affecting their patients.

Pharmacies within the CPESN South Carolina were eligible if they could commit to three years of participation. From those eligible, the CPESN South Carolina Lead Luminary and Network Facilitator selected 25 pharmacies to join the program. Selected pharmacies are given a yearly stipend.

Building the Capacity of South Carolina Community Pharmacies to Intervene on the Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health (SDOH) can have a major impact on the overall well-being of individuals. Factors such as education, socioeconomic status, social isolation, and food insecurity are examples of many possible SDOH. The role of social determinants in shaping health, health care access, and medication adherence is noted in research, as is the importance of addressing them to achieve greater health equity.

1. CPESN website, https://www.cpesn.com/payors. From 2010 performance analysis of Community Care of North Carolina primary care practices with integrated community-based pharmacy supports. Last accessed: December 11, 2018.