The Physicians Foundation Launches Campaign to Help Physicians Address Patients’ Drivers of Health

The Physicians Foundation launched Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health, a new campaign to support physicians in addressing their patients’ drivers of health (DOH), such as food security and transportation access. The Physicians Foundation also announced the selection of five medical associations for a new grant program to support physicians to integrate DOH screening into their practices and build the capacity to improve patients’ lives. These efforts expand on the Foundation’s established leadership of recognizing and acting on the challenges of DOH for patients and physicians.

The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 Survey of America’s Physicians brought to light the barriers that physicians face in addressing patients’ DOH. In fact, eight in 10 physicians believe that the U.S. cannot improve health outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing DOH. However, while nine in 10 physicians want to address drivers of health, six in 10 feel they have little to no time nor the ability to do so effectively. Moreover, eight in 10 physicians believe that addressing patients’ DOH contributes to physician burnout rates. In response to these findings and to help make measured change, The Physicians Foundation developed Let’s Take 5 and the DOH grant program for medical associations.

“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,” said Gary Price, M.D., president of The Physicians Foundation. “It is absolutely critical that physicians are given the support and resources they need to address these challenges. 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.”

 Let’s Take 5 supports physicians by providing actionable steps to start conversations around DOH with patients and integrate evidence-based approaches in clinical care settings, so patients’ overall health and wellbeing are less dependent on the five key types of DOH, including food security, housing stability, transportation access, utilities access and interpersonal safety. As part of this effort, The Physicians Foundation developed the following two campaign resources:

  • Let’s Take 5 Conversation Starter: A guide for physicians to prepare their teams to have empathetic and empowering conversations with patients about DOH. Understanding and addressing patients’ DOH is an ongoing and often complex process, and this resource offers advice for physicians and their teams to start this essential conversation.
  • Let’s Take 5 Steps Implementation Guide: A resource with five key steps to help physicians and their teams integrate DOH patient screenings through clinically validated workflow approaches. By screening for DOH, patients can be connected with the appropriate community or health service to reduce the impact of DOH on their health and wellbeing. Furthermore, by implementing the right strategies and structures, physicians and their teams can more effectively support their patients.

In addition to the resources provided through the Let’s Take 5 campaign, The Physicians Foundation is also supporting on-the-ground initiatives to address DOH through its new grant program for medical associations. The Physicians Foundation launched the program with the goal of enhancing the capacity for medical associations to help physicians with DOH screening and resource connection and to empower physicians to integrate DOH into their practices.

For more detailed information about the Let’s Take 5 to Address Drivers of Health campaign, click here.