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HIT's impact on health disparities: Will it help or harm?
Date:3/7/2011

A synthesis paper will be prepared for publication following the event.

Leaders of the sponsoring organizations strongly agree that the HIT/disparities questions merit urgent attention:

"The informatics community is highly aware that heightened use of health information technology could result in greater healthcare disparities," said AMIA President and CEO Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD, FACMI. "While that unintended consequence is a possibility, AMIA is taking steps to expand informatics in public health, because we recognize that wise use of technology for health promotion and disease prevention and detection addresses the needs of the entire population, thereby lessening opportunities for disparities to develop."

Ray Baxter, PhD, Senior Vice President for Community Benefit, Research, and Health Policy at Kaiser Permanente added, "At a time when millions of lower-income, previously uninsured individuals will be gaining healthcare coverage through health reform, it is vital that both public and private delivery systems develop strategies to ensure that the great benefits of HIT systems are shared equitably. This is a social justice imperative."

"Disparities in health care are common and, unfortunately, many disparities are not decreasing. Health IT is a promising way to address disparities by increasing access to and improving quality of health care for many populations, including the rural and underserved. Efforts to ensure that patients and physicians have access to these technologies are essential to address this national problem," said P. Jon White MD, AHRQ's Director of Health IT.


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Contact: Nancy Light
nlight@amia.org
American Medical Informatics Association
Source:Eurekalert

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