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Equity in the Digital Age 2013

Equity in the Digital Age 2013

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Equity in the Digital Age 2013
Equity in the Digital Age 2013

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Published by: THINK The Innovation Knowledge Foundation on Mar 12, 2013
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10/20/2013

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Equity in theDigital Age:
 
Te Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)inuences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programsand organizations to improve the health o Asian Americans, NativeHawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.Te Caliornia Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) works toensure that all Caliornians have access to quality health care and canlive healthy lives. We gather the strength o communities o color tobuild a united and powerul voice in health advocacy. You can findadditional resources on advancing health equity atwww.cpehn.org.Consumers Union, the advocacy division o Consumer Reports,works or health reorm, ood and product saety, financial reorm,and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and inthe marketplace.Te National Council o La Raza (NCLR)—the largest nationalHispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the UnitedStates—works to improve opportunities or Hispanic Americans.
We would like to thank Ignatius Bau or his contributions to this report.
 
Executive Summary
While enormous medical and technological advancements have been made over thelast century, it is only very recently that there have been similar rates o developmentin the field o health inormation technology (HI).
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Tis report examines some o theadvancements in HI and its potential to shape the uture health care experiences o consumers. Combined with better data collection, HI oers significant opportunitiesto improve access to care, enhance health care quality, and create targeted strategiesthat help promote health equity. We must also keep in mind that technology gaps exist,particularly among communities o color, immigrants, and people who do not speakEnglish well. HI implementation must be done in a manner that responds to theneeds o all populations to make sure that it enhances access, acilitates enrollment, andimproves quality in a way that does not exacerbate existing health disparities or the mostmarginalized and underserved.Te ollowing recommendations highlight what must be considered to maximize thebenefit o HI or everyone:
 Expand access to health inormation technology in communities o color  
• Increase access in underserved areas.
 
• Capitalize on mobile technologies to increase access for communities of color.
 Minimize barriers to online eligibility and enrollment or health insurance
• Ensure that online applications only require information that is necessary to advance
an application.
• Develop online applications that recognize complex mixed-status households and
prevent erroneous rejections and other barriers to enrollment and eligibility.
• Strengthen existing enrollment options in addition to utilizing HIT.• Design a web portal that takes into account dierences in culture, language, and
health literacy among its potential users.
• Develop an outreach and education strategy specically for the underserved.
 Improve patient care
• Enforce the required collection of demographic data.• Hospitals, providers, and health plans should use demographic data, including race,
ethnicity, and primary language to identiy and address dierences in utilization andhealth outcomes.
• Coordinate with public health departments to provide aggregate, stratied health
data.
• Consider collecting and reporting data on health-related quality of life measures.• Use patient demographic data to develop a library of materials in multiple languages
or patients and care givers.
 Protect the security and confdentiality o data
• Include privacy and security protections to prevent misuses of health data.
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