Leveraging Advances in Technology to Promote Health Equity

Pérez-Stable, Eliseo J.; Jean-Francois, Beda; Aklin, Courtney Ferrell
Medical Care

Perez-Stable et al discuss on promoting health equity by leveraging advances in technology. The dissemination of electronic health records (EHRs) to about 84% of non-federal acute care hospitals as of 2015 has brought clinical care in the US into the 21st century. Uptake in ambulatory care practices is estimated at 86.9% for any system, but 53.9% use a basic system and 73% do not use the EHR technologies to their full capability. Health IT has tremendous potential for promoting health equity for racial and ethnic minorities as well as other disparity populations, although many have feared that disparities could be exacerbated by the new technology. Better clinical care coordination via health IT could improve clinician performance and adherence to clinical guidelines, reduce redundant testing due to clinician biases, detect treatment risks, and thus consequently facilitate more equitable treatment for underserved populations