Title: Leveling Up: Developing Upstream Health Informatics Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities
Abstract: Health disparities are differences in disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality, or survival in one group compared to the general population. Health disparities are a product of macro-level social, political and economic mechanisms and intermediary social determinants of health such as living and working conditions and social networks.
This presentation makes the case for “upstream” informatics interventions that focus on the social, political, economic and physical contexts in which health is produced. The presentation outlines key findings from three community-based research projects focused on developing and evaluating upstream informatics interventions.
The first leverages social media to characterize community health, and will ultimately result in a decision support tool for public health officials, urban planners, policy makers and nonprofit organizations. The second focuses on stigma reduction in social networks to enhance the uptake of HIV testing among men who have sex with men. The result will be a blended online/offline intervention leveraging social networks. The third aims to reduce hemodialysis complications disproportionately experienced by women. The cluster-randomized, pragmatic trial compares the effectiveness of technology-mediated behavioral interventions for healthcare providers (tablet-based diagnostic checklist and team training) and for patients (tablet-based education and peer mentoring). The presentation concludes with recommendations for researchers and practitioners who aspire to enhance health equity with informatics.
Bio: Tiffany Veinot, MLS, PhD is Associate Dean for Faculty at the University of Michigan (UM)’s School of Information. She is also a Full Professor at the Schools of Information and Public Health at UM. She is former Director of UM’s Master of Health Informatics Program, and a founding faculty member for that program. Her research focuses on “community health informatics,” or the use of information systems and services to improve the health of marginalized populations and reduce health disparities. She has over 75 published, peer-reviewed papers, and her research has garnered eight “best paper” awards in health informatics, human-computer interaction, and information science. Veinot has held over $9.8 million in research funding as Principal Investigator, with funding from agencies such as Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Google, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). She is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, and International Journal of Medical Informatics.