Health Equity Without Accountability — Is It Possible?

HIMSS22 Conference Session Summary

This article is part of an extended series summarizing discussions at recent healthcare conferences about improving health equity through technology. This session summary contains details on the HIMSS22 Conference. You can read our conference overview and find links to all articles here.

Learn more about StartingUpGood’s Health + Equity + Tech Project.

Health Equity Without Accountability — Is It Possible?

Description

A growing number of partnerships are popping up between community-based organizations and traditional healthcare systems, aiming to improve health outcomes by leveraging the powers of each organization. In addition to a shared commitment and vision, these cross-sector partnerships require strong digital solutions to manage data, track progress, and communicate. However, there is often a misalignment or duplication in efforts and health systems miss out on utilizing the powerful opportunity provided by CBOs to improve care. So how can digital health tools be maximized to help the partnerships and communities? Can we increase interoperability and accountability to minimize friction so that these tools are more of a help than a burden for stakeholders? Hear from a panel of experts with first-hand experience in this area as they share the importance of utilizing digital health solutions to create a stronger partnership and improved outcomes for their communities.

Speakers

Key Points

Importance of Building Trust

  • Community Based Organizations (CBOs) are important partners because they have already built trust with many of the populations that require digital health literacy and access.

Person-Centric Healthcare

  • To meet people where they are, you have to look at your patients, not through them.
  • In person-centric care, we have to educate patients that they have the right to get the best care that leads to the best outcomes.

Data

  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems play a key role in data collection and interoperability.
  • We need increased accountability in data collection.
  • Health systems need to tell their vendors to collect the right amount of data in user-friendly ways.

Health Equity

  • To achieve health equity, you have to act on the data — not just collect it. We have to implement interventions that move us towards improved health equity.
  • Lots of people are talking about maternal health disparities. Health insurers have collected information, but no one has actioned it.

Accountability

  • Healthcare companies and systems are businesses. The objectives of their leadership teams have to be tied to outcomes and health equity, or we are not going to make progress on improving health equity.
  • Reducing disparities is good for shareholders because doing so will reduce costs in the short, medium, and long-term.
  • Compensation plans for all healthcare players need to hold executives accountable.
  • There is accountability built into the value-based care system. We’ve been talking about value-based care for a long time, but we are not there yet. Why? Because executives are not incentivized. Company profits aren’t being poured back into a system to address health equity.

Access to Healthcare

  • The pandemic accelerated telemedicine. The challenge for the future is how to continue to provide equitable access to the communities that don’t have the necessary tools.
  • Face-to-face care is not going away; telemedicine is a way to augment healthcare.

You can read a summary of all our 2022 healthcare conference coverage here, or check out specific coverage of each conference:

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