Despite decades of experience with programs outside the health sector intended to address social and economic goals, we do not know enough about their impact on health. The substantial health improvements that can result from these programs are not traditionally measured. To guide successful private and public investment efforts to improve health, this needs to change. The Commission recommends:
RECOMMENDATION: Ensure that decision-makers in all sectors have the evidence they need to build health into public and private policies and practices. Decision-makers at national, state and local levels must have reliable data on health status, disparities, and the effects of social determinants of health. Approaches to monitor these data at the local level must be developed by, for example, adapting ongoing tracking systems. Funding must be available to promote research to understand these health effects and to promote the application of findings to decision-makers.