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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/EMERMED-2020-210896

Digital disparities: designing telemedicine systems with a health equity aim.

04 Mar 2021-Emergency Medicine Journal (BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and the British Association for Accident & Emergency Medicine)-Vol. 38, Iss: 6, pp 474-476
Abstract: The use of telemedicine has grown immensely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine provides a means to deliver clinical care while limiting patient and provider exposure to the COVID-19. As such, telemedicine is finding applications in a variety of clinical environments including primary care and the acute care setting and the array of patient populations who use telemedicine continues to grow. Yet as telehealth becomes ubiquitous, it is critical to consider its potential to exacerbate disparities in care. Challenges accessing technology and digital literacy, for example, disproportionately impact older patients and those living in poverty. When implemented with the consideration of health disparities, telemedicine provides an opportunity to address these inequities. This manuscript explores potential mechanisms by which telemedicine may play a role in exacerbating or ameliorating disparities in care. We further describe a framework and suggested strategies with which to implement telemedicine systems to improve health equity.

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Topics: Telemedicine (58%), Health equity (53%), Telehealth (52%) ... show more
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Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001448
Abstract: CONTEXT: During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for telehealth services increased to reduce disease exposure for patients and providers and to meet preexisting demand for physician services in health resource shortage areas. OBJECTIVE: To estimate self-reported telehealth availability, equipment for accessing telehealth, and telehealth usage among Medicare beneficiaries during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: We used data from the 2020 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) COVID-19 Fall Supplement Public Use File to estimate the weighted percentages of beneficiaries who had (a) access to telehealth before or during COVID-19;(b) equipment for accessing telehealth;and (c) telehealth visits during COVID-19. We used logistic regression to examine sociodemographic factors associated with telehealth usage. PARTICIPANTS: Beneficiaries who participated in the MCBS COVID-19 Fall Supplements. RESULTS: During October and November 2020, telehealth appointments offered by providers were available to 63.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 61.8-65.9) of Medicare beneficiaries who had accessed medical care by telephone or video. Among those, only 18.0% (95% CI, 16.1-19.9) had been offered telehealth before the pandemic. The majority of beneficiaries (92.2%;95% CI, 91.2-93.1) had 1 or more types of equipment available for accessing telehealth, but only 44.9% (95% CI, 43.0-46.9) had had a telehealth visit since July 1, 2020. Older adults, minorities, those with a lower income, and non-English speakers had less availability of telehealth equipment. Patient characteristics were significantly (P < .05) associated with telehealth use, including age, sex, race/ethnicity, and equipment availability. CONCLUSION: Telehealth availability for Medicare beneficiaries increased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even with the improvement in telehealth offerings and use hastened by the pandemic, gaps in access and use still exist. Effectiveness and implementation research can find ways to close gaps in telehealth services between vulnerable and underrepresented populations and counterparts.

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Topics: Telehealth (62%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.SURG.2021.08.059
Anees B. Chagpar1Institutions (1)
27 Nov 2021-Surgery
Abstract: Background The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic prompted a surge in telemedicine, with the presumption that patients had computer and internet access. We sought to determine, in a population-based sample, how many Americans were using computers and the internet before the pandemic, and whether disparities existed in this. Methods The National Health Interview Survey is conducted annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is representative of the entire United States civilian non-institutionalized population. In 2018, questions were fielded regarding computer and web utilization. We evaluated sociodemographic factors associated with this. Results Twenty-five thousand and forty-nine people, representing 245,842,992 in the population, responded to these questions. Of the responses, 19% stated they used a computer "never or almost never," 18% stated they did not use the internet, and 25% did not use email. Over the previous 12 months, 55% of responders stated they had looked up health information on the internet, 11% had filled a prescription online, 16% had scheduled a medical appointment on the internet, and 17% had communicated with a healthcare provider by email. Internet usage varied by region, age, race, education, family income, and insurance status, but not by gender. Conclusion As telemedicine becomes more prevalent, sociodemographic factors limiting computer and internet use may disadvantage certain segments of the population.

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Topics: Population (57%), The Internet (55%), National Health Interview Survey (54%) ... show more

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/EMP2.12577
Natalie M. Davoodi1, Kevin Chen1, Maria Zou1, Melinda Li1  +3 moreInstitutions (1)
01 Oct 2021-
Abstract: Objectives Emergency medicine physicians have played a pivotal role throughout the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic through in-person and remote management and treatment. Our primary objectives were to understand emergency medicine physicians' experiences using telehealth throughout the pandemic, any facilitators/barriers to successful usage, lessons learned during implementation, and successful/abandoned strategies used to engage with older adults. Methods Using a semi-structured interview guide, we conducted 30-min interviews. We used purposeful sampling to recruit emergency medicine physicians from all United States regions, rural-urban settings, and academic and community practices, who reported caring for patients 65 years or older in-person or virtually during the pandemic. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, double-coded, and analyzed for emergent themes using framework analysis. Results A total of 15 in-depth interviews were completed from September to November 2020. Physicians had a median age of 37 years, 7 were women, and 9 had experience with telehealth before the pandemic. We identified several themes: (1) there were various motivations for telehealth use; (2) telehealth was used primarily to supplement, not replace in-person care; (3) most platforms were easy to use; (4) patients and caregivers had high acceptability of telemedicine; and (5) older adults with sensory and cognitive impairments often relied on caregivers. Emergency medicine physicians played a critical role during primary care office closures during the first wave-dispelling misinformation about COVID-19, triaging patients to testing and treatment, and providing care that would otherwise have been deferred. Conclusions Our data show that telemedicine gained acceptability among emergency medicine physicians and provided options to patients who may have otherwise deferred care. These findings can inform future healthcare delivery for acute care needs or pandemic responses.

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Topics: Telehealth (57%), Telemedicine (56%), Acute care (55%)

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/IJERPH182111148
Abstract: Evaluating the use and impact of telemedicine in nursing homes is necessary to promote improvements in the quality of this practice. Even though challenges and opportunities of telemedicine are increasingly becoming well documented for geriatrics (such as improving access to healthcare, patient management, and education while reducing costs), there is still limited knowledge on how to better implement it in an inter-organizational context, especially when considering nursing homes. In this regard, this study aimed first to describe the telemedicine activity of nursing homes when cooperating with a general hospital; and then understand the behavioral differences amongst nursing homes while identifying critical factors when implementing a telemedicine project. We conducted a sequential, explanatory mixed-method study using quantitative then qualitative methods to better understand the results. Three years of teleconsultation data of twenty-six nursing homes (15 rural and 11 urban) conducting teleconsultations with a general hospital (Troyes Hospital, France) were included for the quantitative analysis, and eleven telemedicine project managers for the qualitative analysis. Between April 2018 and April 2021, 590 teleconsultations were conducted: 45% (n = 265) were conducted for general practice, 29% (n = 172) for wound care, 11% (n = 62) for diabetes management, 8% (n = 47) with gerontologist and 6% (n = 38) for dermatology. Rural nursing homes conducted more teleconsultations overall than urban ones (RR: 2.484; 95% CI: 1.083 to 5.518; p = 0.03) and included more teleconsultations for general practice (RR: 16.305; 95% CI: 3.505 to 73.523; p = 0.001). Our qualitative study showed that three critical factors are required for the implementation of a telemedicine project in nursing homes: (1) the motivation to perform teleconsultations (in other words, improving access to care and cooperation between professionals); (2) building a relevant telemedicine medical offer based on patients' and treating physicians' needs; and (3) it's specific organization in terms of time and space. Our study showed different uses of teleconsultations according to the rural or urban localization of nursing homes and that telemedicine projects should be designed to consider this aspect. Triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine projects in nursing homes are increasing, and observing the three critical factors presented above could be necessary to limit the failure of such projects.

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Topics: Rural Nursing (60%), Rural health (57%), Telemedicine (53%) ... show more

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/ACEM.14330
Emily M. Hayden1, Christopher Davis2, Sunday Clark3, Aditi U. Joshi4  +10 moreInstitutions (9)
Abstract: Introduction Telehealth has the potential to significantly change the specialty of emergency medicine (EM) and has rapidly expanded in EM during the COVID pandemic; however, it is unclear how EM should intersect with telehealth. The field lacks a unified research agenda with priorities for scientific questions on telehealth in EM. Methods Through the 2020 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine's annual consensus conference, experts in EM and telehealth created a research agenda for the topic. The multiyear process used a modified Delphi technique to develop research questions related to telehealth in EM. Research questions were excluded from the final research agenda if they did not meet a threshold of at least 80% of votes indicating "important" or "very important." Results Round 1 of voting included 94 research questions, expanded to 103 questions in round 2 and refined to 36 questions for the final vote. Consensus occurred with a final set of 24 important research questions spanning five breakout group topics. Each breakout group domain was represented in the final set of questions. Examples of the questions include: "Among underserved populations, what are mechanisms by which disparities in emergency care delivery may be exacerbated or ameliorated by telehealth" (health care access) and "In what situations should the quality and safety of telehealth be compared to in-person care and in what situations should it be compared to no care" (quality and safety). Conclusion The primary finding from the process was the breadth of gaps in the evidence for telehealth in EM and telehealth in general. Our consensus process identified priority research questions for the use of and evaluation of telehealth in EM to fill the current knowledge gaps. Support should be provided to answer the research questions to guide the evidenced-based development of telehealth in EM.

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Topics: Telehealth (60%)

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23 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1093/HEAPRO/15.3.259
Don Nutbeam1Institutions (1)
Abstract: SUMMARY Health literacy is a relatively new concept in health promotion. It is a composite term to describe a range of outcomes to health education and communication activities. From this perspective, health education is directed towards improving health literacy. This paper identifies the failings of past educational programs to address social and economic determinants of health, and traces the subsequent reduction in the role of health education in contemporary health promotion. These perceived failings may have led to significant underestimation of the potential role of health education in addressing the social determinants of health. A ‘health outcome model’ is presented. This model highlights health literacy as a key outcome from health education. Examination of the concept of health literacy identifies distinctions between functional health literacy, interactive health literacy and critical health literacy. Through this analysis, improving health literacy meant more than transmitting information, and developing skills to be able to read pamphlets and successfully make appointments. By improving people’s access to health information and their capacity to use it effectively, it is argued that improved health literacy is critical to empowerment. The implications for the content and method of contemporary health education and communication are then considered. Emphasis is given to more personal forms of communication, and community-based educational outreach, as well as the political content of health education, focussed on better equipping people to overcome structural barriers to health.

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Topics: Health literacy (82%), Health promotion (72%), Health policy (71%) ... show more

2,958 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-80
25 Jan 2012-BMC Public Health
Abstract: Health literacy concerns the knowledge and competences of persons to meet the complex demands of health in modern society. Although its importance is increasingly recognised, there is no consensus about the definition of health literacy or about its conceptual dimensions, which limits the possibilities for measurement and comparison. The aim of the study is to review definitions and models on health literacy to develop an integrated definition and conceptual model capturing the most comprehensive evidence-based dimensions of health literacy. A systematic literature review was performed to identify definitions and conceptual frameworks of health literacy. A content analysis of the definitions and conceptual frameworks was carried out to identify the central dimensions of health literacy and develop an integrated model. The review resulted in 17 definitions of health literacy and 12 conceptual models. Based on the content analysis, an integrative conceptual model was developed containing 12 dimensions referring to the knowledge, motivation and competencies of accessing, understanding, appraising and applying health-related information within the healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion setting, respectively. Based upon this review, a model is proposed integrating medical and public health views of health literacy. The model can serve as a basis for developing health literacy enhancing interventions and provide a conceptual basis for the development and validation of measurement tools, capturing the different dimensions of health literacy within the healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion settings.

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Topics: Health literacy (77%), Health promotion (63%), Health care (60%) ... show more

2,334 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMP2003539
Judd E. Hollander1, Brendan G. Carr2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for Covid-19 Telemedicine’s payment and regulatory structures, licensing, credentialing, and implementation take time to work through, but health systems that have a...

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Topics: Credentialing (52%)

1,498 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1177/1357633X16674087
Abstract: Introduction and objective Studies on telemedicine have shown success in reducing the geographical and time obstacles incurred in the receipt of care in traditional modalities with the same or greater effectiveness; however, there are several barriers that need to be addressed in order for telemedicine technology to spread. The aim of this review is to evaluate barriers to adopting telemedicine worldwide through the analysis of published work. Methods The authors conducted a systematic literature review by extracting the data from the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and PubMed (MEDLINE) research databases. The reviewers in this study analysed 30 articles (nine from CINAHL and 21 from Medline) and identified barriers found in the literature. This review followed the checklist from Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2009. The reviewers organized the results into one table and five figures that depict the data in different ways, organized by: barrier, country-specific barriers, organization-specific barriers, patient-specific barriers, and medical-staff and programmer-specific barriers. Results The reviewers identified 33 barriers with a frequency of 100 occurrences through the 30 articles. The study identified the issues with technically challenged staff (11%), followed by resistance to change (8%), cost (8%), reimbursement (5%), age of patient (5%), and level of education of patient (5%). All other barriers occurred at or less than 4% of the time. Discussion and conclusions Telemedicine is not yet ubiquitous, and barriers vary widely. The top barriers are technology-specific and could be overcome through training, change-management techniques, and alternating delivery by telemedicine and personal patient-to-provider interaction. The results of this study identify several barriers that could be eliminated by focused policy. Future work should evaluate policy to identify which one to lever to maximize the results.

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Topics: Systematic review (54%), CINAHL (52%), Telemedicine (51%)

464 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1136/JECH-2020-214401
Abstract: This essay examines the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for health inequalities. It outlines historical and contemporary evidence of inequalities in pandemics-drawing on international research into the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, the H1N1 outbreak of 2009 and the emerging international estimates of socio-economic, ethnic and geographical inequalities in COVID-19 infection and mortality rates. It then examines how these inequalities in COVID-19 are related to existing inequalities in chronic diseases and the social determinants of health, arguing that we are experiencing a syndemic pandemic It then explores the potential consequences for health inequalities of the lockdown measures implemented internationally as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on the likely unequal impacts of the economic crisis. The essay concludes by reflecting on the longer-term public health policy responses needed to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does not increase health inequalities for future generations.

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Topics: Social determinants of health (57%), Pandemic (52%), Syndemic (52%)

422 Citations


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