Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Information Technology Use and Associated Trends among Individuals Living with Chronic Diseases

Chinedum O. Ojinnaka, Omolola E. Adepoju

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Health information technology (HIT) can enhance optimal health care access and utilization among individuals living with chronic diseases. This study aimed to provide population-level information on racial/ethnic disparities in HIT use and associated trends among those living with chronic diseases. The study sample consisted of adult respondents (≥18 years) of the 2011-2018 National Health Interview Survey living with at least 1 chronic condition. Binomial regression was used to analyze the association between race/ethnicity, year, and 4 measures of HIT use for patient-provider interaction. Regression parameter estimates were used to predict the trends in probability of the outcome variables across race/ethnicity. About 73% of the study sample were non-Hispanic Whites, 15% were non-Hispanic Blacks, and 13% were Hispanics. Compared to non-Hispanic Whites, there were decreased adjusted odds of any HIT use among non-Hispanic Blacks (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.67, 0.76) and Hispanics (OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.72, 0.84). The likelihood of any HIT use increased with increasing year (OR: 1.16; 95% CI = 1.15, 1.18). Trends in racial/ethnic disparities were wider for email communication with provider and online prescription refill compared to online scheduling of appointment. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to accelerated adoption or expansion of HIT for patient care. Limited HIT use among non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics could worsen the disproportionate chronic disease burden, suboptimal clinical outcomes, and preventable health care costs experienced by this subpopulation. In conclusion, there is a need for intentional and strategic population-level interventions to increase HIT adoption and use among non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics living with chronic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-680
Number of pages6
JournalPopulation Health Management
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Chronic diseases
  • Disparities
  • HIT disparities
  • HIT use
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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