Studies: Health IT has big impact on rural and minority communities

By Mike Miliard
10:31 AM

This issue of Perspectives in HIM also includes two other studies focusing on health IT's benefits to underserved communities.

One, titled A Peach of a Telehealth Program: Georgia Connects Rural Communities to Better Healthcare, is authored by Rena Brewer, RN, MA, GiGi Goble and Paula Guy, RN. The authors present Georgia’s telehealth response to some of the significant healthcare challenges and disparities facing that state’s rural citizens.

“When compared to their urban and suburban counterparts, rural communities have fewer healthcare providers, and residents must travel longer distances to reach them,” they write. As a result, Georgia’s statewide telemedicine network uses information technology to improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare and health outcomes for underserved populations in Georgia.

The other is titled, Innovation in Indian Healthcare: Using Health Information Technology to Achieve Health Equity for American Indian and Alaska Native Populations. Written by Mark Carroll, MD, Theresa Cullen, MD, Stewart Ferguson, PhD, Nathan Hogge, Mark Horton, OD, MD and John Kokesh, MD, it shows how the U.S. Indian health system utilizes a diverse range of health information technology and innovative tools to enhance health service delivery for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and provides an overview of efforts and experience using such tools to achieve health equity for American Indian and Alaska Native communities.