Over 75 distinguished medical and technology professionals gathered at the EHRInsight 2015 seminar series in Washington, D.C. to discuss the expansion of Electronic Health Records (EHR), telemedicine, mobile health, and health information technologies in the Latino community. The two day event, hosted by Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA) and the National Latino Alliance on Health Information Technology (LatinoHIT) featured round-table briefings, workshops, a keynote address by Dr. Geeta Nayyar Chief Medical Information Officer at AT&T, and a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation for Congressman Charles Gonzalez.
“The goal of the EHRInsight 2015 series is to provide an opportunity for Latino medical IT professionals to dialogue with each other about key concerns in the national adoption of Healthcare Information Technology in our community,” said Jose Marquez-Leon, National Managing Director of LatinoHIT. “We must continue to raise awareness of the digital divide in the medical industry and pay special attention to the Electronic Medical Records adoption in the Hispanic Community while stimulating new ideas on Latino Small business growth in health IT.”
The series emphasized the urgency of improving coordination of IT services in healthcare and empowering people to maintain and improve their health. Research indicates that health IT can reduce significant costs through the adoption of electronic health records and remote monitoring technology, ultimately improving patient care and outcomes as information becomes available in an instant and centralized manner. These technology innovations could create over $700 billion in net savings over the next 15 to 25 years as healthcare related jobs take the lead as the fastest growing occupations and are expected to generate 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018.
The adoption of health IT provides a viable solution for closing health disparities, but without addressing the digital divide, medical practices in underserved communities will continue facing challenges. Understanding the scope of these technologies is a critical first step in preventing the detrimental effect on Latino communities across the U.S.