Rapid Transition to Telehealth and the Digital Divide: Implications for Primary Care Access and Equity in a Post‐COVID Era
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has catalyzed profound transformations in health care delivery systems, including an abrupt shift toward telemedicine. Synchronous telemedicine modalities such as videoconference and telephone can facilitate much needed access to care while minimizing the risk of exposure for patients, providers, and the surrounding community. Yet, some telemedicine modalities such as videoconferencing entail the use of digital tools and technologies that may not be equally accessible to all patients. This talk presents results from two studies examining the use of telemedicine by safety net providers in New York State during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and offers recommendations to promote access and equity in telemedicine in a post-COVID society.
This was an event of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA), hosted by the Center for Bioethics, and supported by the following U of MN units: the School of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, and the Medical School.
Ji Chang, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Policy and Management at the NYU School of Global Public Health. Her research focuses on the role of organization, management, and policies in facilitating equitable access to care. She uses mixed methods research designs to demonstrate disparities in healthcare access and highlight barriers faced by safety net providers and underserved patients. Her work has been published in leading medical and health policy journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and Milbank Quarterly.