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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Tackling the Digital Divide: AMCs’ Strategies to Improve Telehealth Access and Equity
Wednesday, September 14, 2-3 p.m. ET
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 the future. This webinar will highlight specific efforts that health systems are taking to eliminate the digital divide such as implementing digital health navigators, screening for the digital divide, and establishing community partnerships to support the development of digital literacy skills. Strategic efforts like these are critical to ensuring that all patients have the necessary broadband and internet access, device access, and digital literacy skills and to narrow today’s existing digital divide.
- 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 approaches to ensure community and patient involvement in developing solutions to improve telehealth access and equity
- Pablo Buitron de la Vega, MD, MSc
Medical Director, THRIVE, Boston Medical Center
- Saurabh Chandra, MD, PhD
Chief Telehealth Officer, Associate Professor, University of Mississippi Medical Center
- Anthony Cheng, MD
Medical Director, Office of Digital Health, Oregon Health and Science University
- Caroline Compretta, PhD
Associate Professor, Co-Director of Community Engagement & Outreach, University of Mississippi Medical Center
- Katie Moore, MPH
Director, Quality & Patient Experience, Digital Health, Mass General Brigham
- Jorge Rodriguez, MD
Clinician Investigator, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Hans VanDerSchaaf, PhD, MPA
Digital Health Strategist, Office of Digital Health, Oregon Health and Science University
Promoting Equitable Specialty Access: Clinical Innovations & Tools from the Field
Wednesday, June 29, 3-4 p.m. ET
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.
- 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
- Robert Rohloff, MD
Medical Director, Health Management and Community Services, Children’s Wisconsin
- Tim Poulson
Value and Risk-Based Product Manager, Children’s Wisconsin
- Maggie McDonnell, MPH
Director, Oregon ECHO Network, Oregon Health & Science University
- Jonathan Betlinski, MD
Associate Professor, Oregon Health & Science University
- Lisa Chew, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, UW Medicine
Leveraging Data to Drive Change in Telehealth Access Equity
Thursday, June 2, 3-4 p.m. ET
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.
- 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
- Yvonne Commodore-Mensah, PHD, MHS, RN
Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
Faculty, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity
- Brian Hasselfeld, MD
Medical Director, Digital Health and Telemedicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Helen Hughes, MD, MPH
Associate Medical Director, Office of Telemedicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Emmanuel Opati, MBA, MHA
Assistant Administrative Director, Office of Telemedicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine
How Academic Medicine Can Improve Digital Health Equity and Why It Matters
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.
- 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.
- Courtney Lyles, PhD
Associate Professor, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
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