Advancing Information Technology Tools to Reduce Health Disparities

Technology > IT

Writers of a journal discussed how health information technology (IT) tools can be applied in reducing health disparities in the clinical care setting, promoting health, and improve patient-doctor communication / Photo by: fernandozhiminaicela via Pixabay

 

Authors of the June supplement for Medical Care discussed how health information technology (IT) tools can be applied in reducing health disparities in the clinical care setting, promoting health, and improve patient-doctor communication.

In the study entitled, “Addressing Health Disparities Through the Utilization of Health Information Technology,” the writers explored the potential application of health in IT in cutting down disparities in health care delivery and outcomes.

Such imbalance present concerning challenges to underprivileged communities, who usually experience a greater burden of chronic diseases and have the tendency to show indications of poor disease management, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said in a statement.

Reducing disparities with health IT can be done using electronic healthcare records, personal healthcare records, electronic prescriptions, and even mobile technologies.

With the use of these tools, NIH stated it would increase access to care, which will improve the quality of healthcare, as well as champion better communication between patients and healthcare professionals.

"Health IT may help underserved populations by enhancing patient engagement, improving implementation of clinical guidelines, promoting patient safety, and reducing adverse outcomes," the NIH said.

"Additionally, individuals with limited English proficiency and/or limited health literacy may benefit where health IT can enhance patient-clinician communication through language and literacy specific materials and visual aids."

The Medical Care supplement also included five commentaries. Those commentaries discussed the role of health IT in promoting health equity in racial/ethnic minorities, rural and urban populations, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, and sexual and gender minorities.

Overall, the new supplement's discussions of health IT research and strategies will not only potentially help in reducing health disparities but also improve health outcomes for minorities and promote health equity for all patients. This is important work that would need the support of additional stakeholders and researchers who are invested in pushing for health equity for all.