Multistakeholder Perspectives on Data Sharing to Address Patient Food Insecurity

J Am Board Fam Med. 2022 Jan-Feb;35(1):85-95. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.01.210093.


Background: Social determinants of health (SDOH) influence health outcomes. Food insecurity (FI) is the most common need related to SDOH. Many primary care practices and health systems have begun to screen for FI and refer patients to resources. How this process is viewed by multiple stakeholders, including patients, health care workers, and staff at food assistance organizations (FAOs), will influence its impact.

Methods: In this mixed-methods study, we completed 42 interviews with individuals from the 3 stakeholder groups. We then conducted a survey with 126 respondents using questions developed from the qualitative results.

Results: All stakeholders recognized the impact FI has on health outcomes, but perspectives varied on the value of sharing information through referrals to FAOs and concerning receipt of services, including privacy concerns and that the process would require significant work and not necessarily improve FI.

Discussion: Stakeholders agree that FI impacts health but have differences in perceptions around screening and referral done in health care settings. Perspectives of multiple stakeholders need to be considered when designing these systems.

Conclusion: Successfully designing systems to address FI through referral to FAOs requires input of multiple stakeholders because perspectives on the value and work required for this process vary.

Keywords: Colorado; Community Medicine; Data Sharing; Food Insecurity; Primary Health Care; Qualitative Research; Referral; Social Determinants of Health; Surveys and Questionnaires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Food Insecurity*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Mass Screening
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Social Determinants of Health*