230433 Improving Health Care Quality and Reducing Health Disparities: The Impact of Consumer Empowerment and Health Information Technology

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lisa C. Gary, PhD , Department of Health Care Organization & Policy, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, Birmingham, AL
Rhonda Belue, PhD , Health Policy and Administration, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Ronica N. Rooks, PhD , Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
Keith Elder, PhD, MPH, MPA , Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Jacqueline Wiltshire, PhD, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Nicole C. Quon, PhD , Health Economics & Outcomes, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, CT
In this presentation, we will discuss the implications of health information technology on patient provider communication, consumer empowerment for vulnerable populations including racial/ethnic minorities, elderly persons, and persons with chronic illnesses.

The proceedings from 2 national, pre-conferences entitled: New Frontiers in Health Disparities Research: Intersections of Consumer Empowerment and Health Information Technology (HIT) will be presented. Study results from three papers on health disparities and HIT will be presented along with a unifying theorectical framework that is based on the Andersen Behavioral Model and the Health Belief Model. The data sources for the analyses include the Community Tracking Study, The Health Information National Trends Survey, and the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey.

The implications for health insurance plans, physician practices, and health care consumer/patient behavior are discussed particularly with respect to clinical practice operations and system-wide quality improvement procedures. These issues are applied to the topic of reducing health disparities by examining improved data collection of patient reported quality measures using novel HIT interfaces, the use of HIT in assessing patient preferences for health care decisions, the use of HIT to improve patient-provider communication especially for non-English speakers, and the patterns of health information seeking behaviors of vulnerable populations (a marker of consumer empowerment).

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Communication and informatics
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. To assess the utility of patient and system-oriented health information technology advances in reducing health disparities, 2. To describe the methodological issues in measuring racial differences in patient reported quality particularly the use of health information technology, and 3. To analyze the tools for studying the organizational characteristics of physician practices located in underserved communities with respect to their HIT infrastructure

Keywords: Health Information, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently an Assistant Professor in a School of Public Health where I teach a Health Disparities course and a policy analysis course. In this presentation, we will present the proceedings from 2 pre-conferences on the intersection of HIT and disparities. I chaired both of these meetings. I also have my PhD in epidemiology and health policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.