249732 Role of Health Information Technology in Decreasing Health Disparities in Communities of Color

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:30 PM

Christopher Williams, MPH, CPEHR, CPHI , Louisiana Healthcare Review, Baton Rouge, LA
Rick Blake, CPHIMS , Strategic Health Resources, Arlington, VA
M. Christopher Gibbons, MD, MPH , Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Significant progress toward developing an electronic health infrastructure in the U.S. has been made during the last two years. The Office of the National Coordinator has been codified in law and the National Health Information Network (NHIN) has moved from the planning stage to the implementation of standards, protocols, legal agreements, specifications, and services to enable the secure exchange of health information over the internet. The interconnection of the reduction of health disparities has not played a central role in the current development of a national electronic health information network. Each racial and ethnic group has unique cultural characteristics including values, norms, and attitudes. It is critical to consider, for each of these groups, whether existing measures are relevant, appropriate, reliable, and valid. Although the importance of the cultural validity of questionnaire items has been recognized by many researchers, the practice of applying standard measures to groups of racial and ethnic minorities and to groups with lower socioeconomic status without investigation of the psychometric properties for these populations unfortunately remains the standard of practice, including for public policy development and the implementation of national policy. We will discuss the impact of a variety of selected health technologies on the capacity of under served communities to increase access to care; the knowledge, attitudes, familiarity, readiness to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs) and other related technologies in under represented populations; the readiness, knowledge, attitudes and familiarity with EMRs and other technology of selected physicians working in under represented communities; current efforts in the Federal government, states and communities to achieve greater access to care and the reduction of health disparities in minority communities.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
(1) Identify best practices for the use of electronic health in under served communities (2) Explain how electronic health has evolved in the U.S., the influences in its development and the fundamentals of the policies and regulations that govern both health IT and the reduction of health disparities (3) List the steps going forward needed to enforce and improve the efforts to implement the research and best practices related to electronic health and the reduction of health disparities.

Keywords: Health Reform, Health Information Systems

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present to because I work in use of Health IT and reduction of health disparities.
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.