250050 Disparities and Health IT, Guidance for Key Stakeholders

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:30 AM

M. Christopher Gibbons, MD, MPH , Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leaders have cited the role health IT can play to address disparities in access to health care and health outcomes for some groups. They encouraged health IT stakeholders including vendors, providers and implementers to explore ways to gear their health IT initiatives towards the needs of these groups. Groups that suffer from disparities related to health and health care vary considerably and include specific racial and ethnic groups, rural populations, the disabled, the uninsured and low income populations more broadly. However, there are important factors associated with health IT design, implementation and use that can either facilitate improvements in access and quality to these groups or may potentially widen some gaps. Therefore, health IT can either help address problems related to health disparities or make them worse. This presentation will review these factors, particularly as they relate to specific health IT products and services available on the market today and what types of applications are needed in the future. It will also provide important guidance to providers, administrators, IT staff and program officials that are responsible for overseeing implementation and use of health IT applications. Topics covered will include issues associated with technology platforms, technical functionality, usability and accessibility of technology, training and the cultural appropriateness of health IT-based initiatives. In particular, we will focus on opportunities that technology can be harnessed to help individuals in specific communities use access to information to take control of their own health and health care.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify opportunities for vendors and other stakeholders to address health disparities through effective design and implementation of health IT products Explain opportunities for addressing disparities and the needs of underserved communities through health IT Formulate an approach to avoiding widening of health disparities as use of health IT expands

Keywords: Vulnerable Populations, Quality Improvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am academic researcher and clinician with deep expertise in health IT as it relates to 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.