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Advancing Health Equity Through Telehealth: AAMC Learning Series

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Through this learning series, the AAMC aims to highlight the role of academic medicine in promoting and advancing health equity through telehealth. Key elements of the series will focus on understanding the impact of telehealth on equity and access to care, the role data can play in improving telehealth access, and evolving best practices that are being used by health systems to improve digital health literacy and narrow the digital divide. An overview of each webinar is included below. Questions? Please contact telehealth@aamc.org.

This work supports “Addressing the Digital Divide to Improve Vaccine Access & Information,” a supplemental award (#6NU50CK000506-02-01) funded under a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Leveraging Data to Drive Change in Telehealth Access Equity

Thursday, June 2, 3-4 pm ET

Register now

With the rapid increase in telehealth utilization in the spring of 2020, many health systems quickly deployed outpatient telehealth services in a matter of weeks. Two years later, outpatient telehealth remains a routine part of outpatient care delivery across the country. This rapid transformation left little time to design and tailor solutions to meet the needs of all patient populations, in some cases exacerbating access disparities which existed before the pandemic.

Dynamically understanding and addressing access barriers to telehealth services can support health system efforts to ensure equitable access to care for all patients. This workshop will highlight work at Johns Hopkins Medicine through the perspective of several health system collaborators and their approaches to identifying, collecting, and acting on metrics to understand telehealth’s impact on access to care for all patients.

Learning objectives

  • Define key measures to understand telehealth’s impact on equity
  • Describe examples of one institution's efforts to track and assemble telehealth equity measures
  • Understand various ways to act on telehealth equity data to improve access to care for marginalized communities
  • Describe how to translate telehealth equity related data to regional and national advocacy efforts

 

Promoting Equitable Specialty Access: Clinical Innovations & Tools from the Field

Wednesday, June 29, 3-4 pm ET

Register now

Health systems have deployed many strategies and tools to promote equitable access to specialty care. Through the AAMC’s Project CORE (Coordinating Optimal Referral Experiences), over 40 AMCs and children’s hospitals have focused on improving access to specialty care through enhancements to the referral process and use of eConsults. eConsults have been shown to enable timely access to specialty input, improve communication and coordination between providers, garner positive patient experience, and reduce costs of care. Project ECHO has also served as an important tool for promoting increased primary care-specialty care collaboration and has leveraged technology to remove some of the traditional barriers to specialty access including geography, travel, and costs. Speakers will discuss how tools like eConsults and Project ECHO can enable health care equity, as well as potential risks, and share opportunities for assessing and improving equity within these programs.

Learning objectives

  • Articulate the role of clinical innovations and technology in enabling health care equity and improved access to specialty care
  • Understand the necessary data and approaches to analyses for assessing health care equity within existing eConsult and Project ECHO programs
  • Describe opportunities for leveraging this data to better understand disparities in access and opportunities for intervention through these programs

 

Tackling the Digital Divide for Pandemic Preparedness: AMCs’ Strategies to Improve Telehealth Access and Equity

Date and registration coming soon.

Academic health systems are integrating telehealth to meet organizational priorities, patient demand, and as a way to improve access to care for many patient populations. Targeted efforts that focus on ensuring access to care via telehealth for under-resourced communities are essential to better address patients’ needs during the COVID pandemic, and to support more equitable outcomes in future pandemics and health emergencies. Partnership between AMCs and community leaders is critical to ensure that patients attain necessary broadband and internet access, device access, and digital literacy skills. Devices and platforms need to be accessible by all patients, regardless of limitations. This webinar will highlight specific efforts that health systems are taking to eliminate the digital divide.

Learning objectives

  • Define the digital divide and its impact on health care access and equity, and the role of health systems in addressing it
  • Understand approaches and strategies for narrowing the digital divide at specific health systems, and how they can be generalizable to others
  • Describe engagement tactics to ensure community and patient involvement in developing solutions to improve telehealth access and equity

 

Past Webinar

How Academic Medicine Can Improve Digital Health Equity and Why It Matters

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The benefits of digital health tools are many—timely access to providers, better care management through monitoring, more convenience for patients, and so on. Yet, many adults in the U.S. face barriers to digital health tools and technology and are being left behind. As academic medicine begins to integrate digital health tools and use them across the mission areas—patient care, research, training, and community engagement—health system leadership, providers, researchers, and educators must understand the risks that could exacerbate today’s health disparities and how to address them. For academic health systems to continue being leaders in innovation while also meeting the needs of underserved communities, providing digitally inclusive care will be crucial.

Drawing from their research on Bridging the Digital Health Divide, their 2021 JAMA commentary “Focusing on Digital Health Equity,” and recently completed work, our speakers will outline approaches to mitigate the risks of digital health tools with specific action steps for health system leaders and providers.

Learning objectives

  • Define the opportunities and risks that come from implementing digital health tools, particularly for patient populations that experience inequities in health care.
  • Describe how health system leadership and providers can ensure digital health readiness by addressing trust, access, and digital literacy.
  • Understand how to identify the needs of your patient population and implement digitally inclusive tools to improve access and care for all.

Speakers

  • Courtney Lyles, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco
    UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations
    UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine at ZSFG
    UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
    Co-Founder, SOLVE Health Tech
  • Urmimala Sarkar, MD, MPH, Professor, General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
    Associate Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations
    CO-Founder, SOLVE Health Tech
     

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