The New Normal: Telehealth and Healthcare Disparities

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused troubling problems for the world but has also forced several industries to rethink what works and adapt for the future. Healthcare, for example, had to transition from in-person patient care to a virtual solution. In fact, McKinsey reported that 46% of consumers used telehealth solutions in 2020, up fourfold from 2019.

 

While telehealth has been convenient and useful for many, it also opens the opportunity to close the healthcare disparity gap that underserved community’s experience.

 

What are some pros and cons of telehealth for underserved communities?

 

Pros to telehealth for underserved communities:

  • The access to healthcare from anywhere
  • The ability to connect with a larger pool of physicians
  • The opportunity for physicians to develop more frequent, trusting relationships virtually in the comfort of the patient’s home
  • Eliminate the need for transportation to the physical doctor’s office

 

Cons to telehealth to underserved communities:

  • The lack of reliable internet
  • Unable to access a computer in general
  • Reduced trust because of the virtual nature of the visit
  • Reimbursements lags disproportionately affect the most marginalized

 

While it’s clear there are both pros and cons to telehealth for minority populations and communities, working together to eliminate the challenges and make telehealth truly accessible for all will change the future of healthcare for the better.

 

At Our Healthy Community (OHC), we are working to eliminate health disparities, improve health equity and enhance health outcomes by fostering relationships between faith and non faith based community leaders, members, academia, and healthcare organizations.

 

Learn how OHC is leveling the playing field for underrepresented communities.

 

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Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120

© 2021 Our Healthy Community. All Rights Reserved.

New Study Connects the Dots Between Preterm Birth and COVID Vulnerability in Underserved Communities

 

New research by Ponnila Marinescu, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and colleagues found that mothers living in neighborhoods with a higher prevalence of COVID-19 diagnoses were more than three times as likely to have had a preterm birth before 28 weeks.

The research was presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine annual meeting. The findings also concluded that COVID severity by zip code positively correlated with the number of residents below the poverty threshold.

People from racial and ethnic minority groups have seen significant disparities when it comes to COVID-19. According to the CDC, these disparities exist because of neighborhoods, lack of access to healthcare, job conditions, income and more. This new study further outlines the risk to minority groups.

The study’s author concluded that “our collective role should thus be to take action, to advocate for and inspire socioeconomic policies that support economic vibrancy and promote optimal health outcomes in all communities.”

Our Healthy Community (OHC) is dedicated to addressing health disparities and inequities in minority populations by connecting faith and non faith based community organization leaders, members, and stakeholders with resources to improve population health outcomes.

Learn how OHC is working with community organizations to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities.

Subscribe to our newsletter. We value your privacy.

P.O. Box 201056

Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120

© 2021 Our Healthy Community. All Rights Reserved.