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eHealth Equity


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The nation is in the midst of the most significant TRANSFORMATION of the health care delivery system since the launch of Medicare.

Successful transformation is dependent on TECHNOLOGY. Technology is needed to:
Improve health care access and outcomes
Improve care coordination
Monitor quality and outcomes
Reduce health care costs

Published in: Health & Medicine
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eHealth Equity

  1. 1. eHealth Equity
  2. 2. Problem Statement• The nation is in the midst of the most significant TRANSFORMATION of the health care delivery system since the launch of Medicare.• Successful transformation is dependent on TECHNOLOGY. Technology is needed to: – Improve health care access and outcomes – Improve care coordination Technology + MU = Reimbursement – Monitor quality and outcomes Technology + ACO = Payment – Reduce health care costs• There needs to be a concerted effort to make sure ALL providers and consumers are READY AND ABLE to adopt changes and use technology to achieve the national health care goals. – If not underserved communities will continue to be underserved as a result of the existing gaps in access to technology and quality care. 2
  3. 3. eHealth Digital Divide• BARRIERS to technology access are similar to the barriers to health care equity: – Affordability – Availability – Appropriateness – Community Based or Cultural Appropriate• Hispanics are two times LESS likely than their peers to register for and use a PHR or patient portal. – Source: Kaiser Permanente, March 2011,Washington DC Roundtable on Health Equity• 72% of the new Medical enrollees will be from communities of color and 40% of those eligible for health benefit exchange will not speak English very well. – Source: CEPHN, March 2012, Health Equity Forum 3
  4. 4. eHealth Digital Divide• Low income Californians are less likely (49%) to use the internet to get health or medical information• 35% of low income Californians have no computers or access to internet at home• The majority of low-income individuals have phones that are not smartphones (53%)• Asians have lower access to internet using cell phones (41%) than blacks (57%) and whites (43%)• Asians have the second highest rate broadband access at home (76%)PPIC 2011 Statewide Survey: Californians & Information Technology 4
  5. 5. What’s needed at the national level?• Consumer eHealth policy that focuses on (1) eliminating health disparities, (2) promotes eHealth ACCOUNTABLE CARE among consumers/patients, and (3) the development and adoption of MEASURES universally designed and multilingual tools Patient Experience Care Coordination Patient Safety• Coordinated eHealth plan that Communities Preventive addresses the diverse needs of At Risk Health underserved communities, including providers and patients in or representing underserved communities and how they access technology.• Advocates for the underserved who are well-versed in eHealth policy and grassroots organizing. 5
  6. 6. What’s needed at the local level?• Education and awareness of how Consumer eHealth initiatives will impact underserved communities.• Strategies and initiatives that ensure no one is left behind during the transformation from paper to electronic, including providers and patients.• Resources aimed at . . – promoting the adoption of culturally appropriate, consumer friendly, universally designed tools and – at educating, convening, and ensuring alignment on key issues impacting the underserved.• Highly skilled workforce willing to work in Community or Rural Hospitals, Health Centers and Clinics, and other places that serve the underserved. 6
  7. 7. Opportunities for Achieving eHealth EquityAssessment Assess the needs of underserved communities that could be addressed through the advancement of health information technology. Assess the capacity of existing programs to meet community needs and to address disparities, health promotion and wellness.Facilitation Facilitate better coordination and collaboration between entities that seek to improve care , reduce disparities , and promote prevention using technology. Facilitate the development and adoption of consumer ehealth strategies by collaborators and partners that incorporate the needs of the underserved community.Consultation Advise technology partners, funders, community organizations, government entities, and others on implementation of their consumer ehealth strategy. Advise community health organizations on the latest advancements in HIT, HIE, and consumer ehealth initiatives in order to help them meet their strategic goals.Investment Invest in technologies that impact underserved communities (e.g. innovative mobile applications-devices; care coordination-management tools; transparency- educational websites; telehealth -medicine projects. Invest in opportunities that support the HIT workforce in underserved communities and policy and leadership development among community health workers and advocates. 7
  8. 8. ZeroDivide eHealth Equity ObjectivesUnderserved consumers & their health providers:Use eHealth tools to reduce health disparitiesUse eHealth to increase access & coordination of careUse eHealth to empower consumers in their health & wellness 8
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