Will Health IT Equalize or Divide?
An introduction to Health IT and NHIT
Health IT has become a driver in shaping the future of healthcare in our country. It can reduce costs and improve health outcomes. And, it has great potential to close the health gaps that currently exist between certain groups and the total population. HIT could also widen these gaps if it is not made available to the medically underserved.
By not including the underserved in the equation, everyone loses. Our health care delivery system will continue to fail to provide services to millions. Costs will continue to rise, affecting our economy, businesses, government, providers and consumers.
Through national leadership, program resources, culturally appropriate and higher quality services, HIT can make care more accessible to the underserved. With expanded HIT adoption, we can avoid expensive secondary and tertiary care that continues to raise healthcare costs.
Who We Are
The National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT) was established in June 2008 as a community of public/private partners committed to leveraging advances in health information technology (HIT) to reduce and ultimately eliminate health disparities experienced by underserved populations, with an emphasis on communities of color. NHIT supports the full engagement of HIT in underserved populations, and among those who care for them, thus ensuring that no community will be left behind. Our public/private partnerships include the Office of Minority Health, Apptis, Association for Clinicians for the Underserved, HIMSS Foundation Institute for eHealth Policy, eHealth Initiative Foundation, Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, and the Health Policy Institute Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The Collaborative’s focus includes HIT planning, adoption and utilization; education and outreach; workforce development and training; policy development and implementation; finance and sustainability; and research and evaluation.
The vision of the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT) is to become the premiere, respected, innovative and established nexus of transdisciplinary partners that contributes to the elimination of health disparities and the attainment of optimal health through the effective use of health information technology (HIT)* for our populations of focus. These constitute the underserved, with an emphasis on communities of color, and those who care for them.
- Convene a diverse and multi-stakeholder group of community, public and private sector thought leaders to examine how to advance the availability of quality health services for all, including low-income, racial/ethnic minority groups and other underserved populations, in a secure, timely, efficient, responsive and coordinated nationwide system of care.
- Propose solutions that contribute to the coordination of preventive and primary care in both public and private sectors and which enhance the lives of all Americans, including those most vulnerable.
- Research and develop models to ensure that federal, state, local and private efforts: a) foster and coordinate advances in information technology in the health arena; b) include revised or new federal and state legislation and regulations