Leveraging Health IT to Address Health Disparities
Health information technology has tremendous potential for increasing health equity for all populations. Health IT tools such as electronic health records (EHRs), patient portals/patient health records (PHRs), and clinical decision support (CDS) may yield population health benefits for underserved populations by enhancing patient engagement, improving implementation of clinical guidelines, patient safety, and reducing adverse outcomes. EHRs and CDS may help improve documentation of social determinants of health (SDoH) and inform patient care for those most vulnerable who have multiple chronic diseases and higher health risks. Availability of real-time actionable patient data, clinical care coordination, and decision support enabled may also reduce disparities in quality of care for underserved populations who are more likely to demonstrate signs of poor management of chronic disease. Better clinical care coordination via health IT and interoperability could improve clinician performance and adherence to clinical guidelines, reduce redundant testing due to clinician biases, detect treatment risks, and thus facilitate equitable treatment for underserved populations.
Our objective for the HIMSS SoCal 2019 Annual Healthcare IT Conference is to bring in experts from various areas of Health IT and have a conversation as to how health IT can be leveraged to address health disparities.