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Connecting the Dots: Health Information Technology Expansion and Health Disparities

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"Connecting the Dots: Health Information Technology Expansion and Health Disparities"

Explore health IT expansion in this informative essay.

Summary Points:

  • Meaningful use is an incentive program sponsored by the US federal government that has provided more than US$25 billion to date to incentivize US healthcare clinics and hospitals to implement electronic health records (EHRs). Healthcare systems receive incentives for reaching a wide range of EHR targets, including providing patient access to/use of EHR information through portal websites.
  • Early evidence links EHR and portal use to better healthcare processes and health outcomes.
  • Promoting patient engagement with health technology such as portals is challenging, and rapid expansion of portals could exacerbate existing healthcare disparities if only well-resourced individuals use these websites.
  • Improving the usability and accessibility of portals for diverse patients requires collaboration between health communication researchers, user-centered designers, healthcare systems, vendors, and government agencies.


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