Although health IT holds promise for reducing disparities in underserved populations by facilitating behavior change and improving quality of healthcare services and health outcomes, few studies have examined the impact of health IT adoption on racial/ethnic disparities in outcomes.
In particular, barriers need to be studied that prevent the uptake and engagement with EHRs and PHRs by medically underserved patients. Also, the approaches and models needed to deliver clinical decision support in safety net clinical settings needs to be studied along with the best models for the inclusion and utility of social determinants of health in EHR systems.
Participating organizations within NIH https://www.nih.gov on November 28, 2018 posted a funding notice titled “Leveraging Health IT to Address Minority Health and Health Disparities” (RO1 Clinical Trial Optional). The Institutes taking part include NIMHD, NCI, NIBIB, and the National Library of Medicine
The funding notice seeks knowledge on how health IT adoption impacts minority health and health disparity populations in terms of access to care, quality of care, improving patient-clinician communication, patient engagement, and health outcomes.
Some of the specific research areas of interest include but other research studies are also needed:
- Research on how to implement models for delivering clinical decision support in diverse settings such as rural communities and how to use tools to determine what is working
- Research on how to perfect the interoperability of health IT tools such as mobile apps, wearables, and other devices used with EHR systems in high and low resource clinical settings, and how best to communicate, share data, and enhance decision support for patients and providers
- Research on how to advance human-centered design methodologies to develop multilevel communication tools to translate, transcribe, analyze, and then organize patient information to incorporate into digital platforms
Eligible applicants can be from higher education institutions, nonprofits, profit organizations, government plus other entities. Applications due dates are March 4, 2019, March 4, 2020, March 4, 2021. The number of awards are contingent upon NIH appropriations and the number of submissions.
Go to https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-19-093.html#_Section_ll._Award_1 for the funding announcement.