This article examines the potential role of health IT in addressing healthcare disparities among racial and ethnic minority populations. An overview of health IT utilization among healthcare providers notes certain characteristics that may disproportionately affect minority populations. Current and emerging health IT use among racial and ethnic minority populations is examined, highlighting areas in which technology use in these populations differs from that of nonminority populations and emphasizing the importance of new social media applications in healthcare education and delivery. Following a discussion of adoption and utilization barriers for providers as well as for patients and caregivers, specific opportunities to address healthcare disparities through health IT use are identified at the provider, patient/caregiver, and healthcare system levels. The article identifies several technical, practical, and human challenges to health IT adoption and stresses the need for the healthcare system to embrace the full spectrum of emerging health IT opportunities to address healthcare disparities.
Gibbons MC. Use of Health Information Technology among Racial and Ethnic Underserved Communities. Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2011 Jan;8(Winter):1f.