the international council on medical & care compunetics


December, 2014

digital divide

The Disparity Information and Communication Technology for Developing Countries has in the Delivery of Healthcare Information

Chhanabhai PN, Holt A. The open medical informatics journal, 4

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have merged into the world of healthcare slowly but surely. However, the marriage between the use of technology and its full impact in the health sector has not been fully realised. The focus of this paper is to highlight the impact of ICT on revolutionising access to healthcare information and thus quality of health for populations of the developing world.
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8 February 2013 | No Comments »
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What do web-use skill differences imply for online health information searches?

Feufel MA, Stahl SF. J Med Internet Res, 14(3)

Online health information is of variable and often low scientific quality. In particular, elderly less-educated populations are said to struggle in accessing quality online information (digital divide). Little is known about (1) how their online behavior differs from that of younger, more-educated, and more-frequent Web users, and (2) how the older population may be supported in accessing good-quality online health information.
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15 June 2012 | No Comments »
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Matrix Analysis of the Digital Divide in eHealth Services Using Awareness, Want, and Adoption Gap

Liang T-H. J Med Internet Res, 14(1)

The digital divide usually refers to access or usage, but some studies have identified two other divides: awareness and demand (want). Given that the hierarchical stages of the innovation adoption process of a customer are interrelated, it is necessary and meaningful to analyze the digital divide in eHealth services through three main stages, namely, awareness, want, and adoption.
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17 February 2012 | No Comments »
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Evaluation of Patient-Controlled Personal Health Record on Different Populations: Impact of the Digital Divide on Its Use

Kim E-H. Evaluation of Patient-Controlled Personal Health Record on Different Populations (Dissertation), 2011

Over the last decade, personal health records (PHRs) have been increasingly recognized and actively promoted by the U.S. federal government and experts as a tool for improving healthcare and containing skyrocketing costs in the U.S. More recently, the 2010 health reform legislation includes PHRs as an important means to improve the quality and efficiency in healthcare delivery. However, the use of PHRs by various patient groups has not been well studied, and its utility has not been firmly established.
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2 January 2012 | No Comments »
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Bridging the digital divide in health care: the role of health information technology in addressing racial and ethnic disparities

López L et al, Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, 37(10)

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care have been consistently documented in the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of many common clinical conditions. There has been an acceleration of health information technology (HIT) implementation in the United States, with health care reform legislation including multiple provisions for collecting and using health information to improve and monitor quality and efficiency in health care. Despite an uneven and generally low level of implementation, research has demonstrated that HIT has the potential to improve quality of care and patient safety. If carefully designed and implemented, HIT also has the potential to eliminate disparities.
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23 October 2011 | No Comments »
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Internet Skills Performance Tests: Are People Ready for eHealth?

van Deursen AJAM, van Dijk JAGM. J Med Internet Res, 13(2)

Despite the amount of online health information, there are several barriers that limit the Internet’s adoption as a source of health information. One of these barriers is highlighted in conceptualizations of the digital divide which include the differential possession of Internet skills, or “eHealth literacy”. Most measures of Internet skills among populations at large use self-assessments. The research discussed here applies a multifaceted definition of Internet skills and uses actual performance tests.

The purpose of this study was to assess how ready a sample of the general population is for eHealth. More specifically, four types of Internet skills were measured in a performance test in which subjects had to complete health-related assignments on the Internet.
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11 May 2011 | No Comments »
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Digital divide: Use of electronic personal health record by different population groups

Kim E-H, Kim Y. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2010

Personal Health Record (PHR) has been increasingly recognized and actively promoted by the federal government, experts and industry as an important tool for improving healthcare in the U.S. However, the PHR use by patients and its utility have not been studied well. We have evaluated a web-based PHR in multiple locations covering diverse population groups. The study sites included a surgical specialty clinic, a medical specialty clinic, and a mental health clinic at the University of Washington, and a low-income elderly housing facility near Seattle in the state of Washington. The PHR use by the low-income elderly was limited due to poor technical skills and low physical/cognitive abilities.
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10 April 2011 | No Comments »
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The Digital Divide in Adoption and Use of a Personal Health Record

Yamin CK et al, Archives of Internal Medicine, 171(6)

Personal health records (PHRs) offer the potential to improve the patient experience and the quality of patient care. However, the “digital divide,” the population-level gap in Internet and computer access, may prevent certain groups from accessing the PHR.

We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of a PHR within a northeastern health system. We compared adopters (ie, those activating a PHR account online) with nonadopters (ie, those who see a physician offering the PHR but do not activate an account). We further categorized adopters by intensity of PHR use, measured by number of log-ins and number of messages sent to physicians’ practices.
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29 March 2011 | No Comments »
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EHR adoption among doctors who treat the elderly

Yeager VA et al, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 16(6)

The purpose of this study is to examine Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption among Florida doctors who treat the elderly. This analysis contributes to the EHR adoption literature by determining if doctors who disproportionately treat the elderly differ from their counterparts with respect to the utilization of an important quality-enhancing health information technology application.
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13 February 2011 | No Comments »
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Social disparities in internet patient portal use in diabetes: evidence that the digital divide extends beyond access

Sarkar U et al, J Am Med Inform Assoc, 18(3)

The authors investigated use of the internet-based patient portal, kp.org, among a well-characterized population of adults with diabetes in Northern California. Among 14 102 diverse patients, 5671 (40%) requested a password for the patient portal. Of these, 4311 (76%) activated their accounts, and 3922 (69%), logged on to the patient portal one or more times; 2990 (53%) participants viewed laboratory results, 2132 (38%) requested medication refills, 2093 (37%) sent email messages, and 835 (15%) made medical appointments.
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29 January 2011 | No Comments »
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ICT applications as e-health solutions in rural healthcare in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Ruxwana, Nkqubela L. et al, The HIM Journal, 39(1)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions (e.g. e-health, telemedicine, e-education) are often viewed as vehicles to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban healthcare centres and to resolve shortcomings in the rural health sector. This study focused on factors perceived to influence the uptake and use of ICTs as e-health solutions in selected rural Eastern Cape healthcare centres, and on structural variables relating to these facilities and processes.
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27 March 2010 | No Comments »
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Health-related information gathering practices in breast and colorectal specialty clinics: the end of the electronic divide?

Wietfeldt, E. Dawn et al, American Journal of Surgery, 199(3)

Health-related information can help patients understand their disease process and make informed decisions. We hypothesize that with the increased availability of Web-based resources, sociodemographic factors no longer impact Internet use among patients.
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22 March 2010 | No Comments »
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Digital divide: variation in internet and cellular phone use among women attending an urban sexually transmitted infections clinic

Samal, Lipika et al, Journal of Urban Health, 87(1)

We sought to describe: (1) the prevalence of internet, cellular phone, and text message use among women attending an urban sexually transmitted infections (STI) clinic, (2) the acceptability of health advice by each mode of information and communication technology (ICT), and (3) demographic characteristics associated with ICT use. This study is a cross-sectional survey of 200 English-speaking women presenting to a Baltimore City STI clinic with STI complaints. Participants completed a self-administered survey querying ICT use and demographic characteristics. Three separate questions asked about interest in receiving health advice delivered by the three modalities: internet, cellular phone, and text message. We performed logistic regression to examine how demographic factors (age, race, and education) are associated with likelihood of using each modality.
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26 February 2010 | No Comments »
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The Digital Divide and Urban Older Adults

Cresci, M. Kay et al, Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 28(2)

Computers and the Internet offer older adults opportunities and resources for independent living. However, many urban older adults do not use computers. This study examined the demographic, health, and social activities of urban older adults to determine variables that might predict the use and nonuse of computers in this population. A secondary data analysis was performed using the 2001 Detroit City-Wide Needs Assessment of Older Adults (n = 1410) data set. Logistic regression was used to explore potential differences in predictor variables between computer users and nonusers.
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25 February 2010 | No Comments »
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Internet use and self-rated health among older people: a national survey

Gracia, Enrique, and Juan Herrero, J Med Internet Res, 11(4)

Older people are among the segments of the population for which the digital divide is most persistent and are considered to be at risk of losing out on the potential benefits that the information society can provide to their quality of life. Little attention has been paid, however, to relationships between Internet use and actual indicators of health among older people.
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4 December 2009 | No Comments »
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Evidence Of An Emerging Digital Divide Among Hospitals That Care For The Poor

Jha AK et al, Health Affairs, 28(6)

Some hospitals that disproportionately care for poor patients are falling behind in adopting electronic health records (EHRs). Data from a national survey indicate early evidence of an emerging digital divide: U.S. hospitals that provide care to large numbers of poor patients also had minimal use of EHRs.
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27 October 2009 | No Comments »
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A global approach to the management of EMR (Electronic Medical Records) of patients with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: the experience of DREAM Software

Nucita, Andrea, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 9(1)

The DREAM Project operates within the framework of the national health systems of several sub-Saharan African countries and aims to introduce the essential components of an integrated strategy for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The project is intended to serve as a model for a wide-ranging scale-up in the response to the epidemic. This paper aims to show DREAM’s challenges and the solutions adopted. One of the solutions is the efficient management of the clinical data regarding the treatment of the patients and epidemiological analyses.
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13 September 2009 | No Comments »
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Use of the Internet for health information: A study of Australians and New Zealanders

Gauld, Robin, and Sheila Williams, Informatics for Health and Social Care, 34(3)

This article presents descriptive data from surveys that probed the use of health information by Internet users in Australia and New Zealand. Using this data, the article also contributes to understanding of factors associated with a series of Internet health information use outcomes. Four hundred six respondents (151 Australians; 255 New Zealanders) had used the Internet for health information and were asked about emailing doctors, Internet searching, taking Internet information to the doctor and perceptions of Internet information reliability.
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10 August 2009 | No Comments »
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Electronic health records: use, barriers and satisfaction among physicians who care for black and Hispanic patients

Jha, Ashish K. et al, Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 15(1)

Electronic health records (EHRs) are a promising tool to improve the quality of health care, although it remains unclear who will benefit from this new technology. Given that a small group of providers care for most racial/ethnic minorities, we sought to determine whether minority-serving providers adopt EHR systems at comparable rates to other providers.
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18 February 2009 | No Comments »
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Online Health Information Seeking Behavior in Hong Kong: An Exploratory Study

Yan, Yuk Yee, Journal of Medical Systems, online first

This is an exploratory study that described the prevalence and patterns of internet health information seeking in Hong Kong. A convenient sample of 443 individuals completed the questionnaires. Only 44% (N  = 195) of the respondents were identified as health surfers. Health surfers tended to be younger females (age group 20-29) and have higher education. Digital divide was evident by age and education. Professional health sites (78.0%) were the majority sites visited.
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23 October 2008 | No Comments »
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