The purpose of this assignment is to identify and define the various electronic or technological tools and measurements that can be used to improve the effectiveness of patient-centered outcomes in diversity programs established by an organization. Providers must learn new tools to eliminate disparities, build trust with patients, and understand how international biases and pre-established stereotypes affect quality of care. Referencing the Healthy People 2030 objectives described in the article “Healthy People: The Role of Law and Policy in the Nation’s Public Health Agenda,” write a 1,000-1,250 word paper that addresses how each of the following must be considered when implementing digital equality in an environment of diversity. You must include a minimum of one additional resource in your rationale. National health goals. Socioeconomic pressures. Stakeholder ethical considerations of organizational strategies, marketing, and operations. Potential conflicts or influence between personal standards and the goals of an organization. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required. This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance. Benchmark Information This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies: MS Health Care Administration 3.6: Identify the characteristics of a health care technology infrastructure that supports patient-centered organizational strategies, marketing, operations, and outcomes.
The delivery of quality healthcare, irrespective of one’s race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or cultural background, is a fundamental tenet of modern healthcare systems. Achieving patient-centered outcomes in diverse healthcare programs is not only an ethical imperative but also a strategic goal for healthcare organizations. To meet these goals, healthcare providers must harness electronic and technological tools. This paper explores how such tools can be leveraged to enhance patient-centered outcomes in the context of diversity programs within healthcare organizations.
National Health Goals
One of the cornerstones of improving patient-centered outcomes in diverse healthcare programs is aligning strategies with national health goals. The Healthy People initiative, now represented by Healthy People 2030, plays a pivotal role in setting these objectives. This federal program establishes objectives to address the most critical health issues facing the United States, emphasizing health equity and the reduction of disparities. In this context, technology plays a crucial role in helping healthcare organizations achieve these objectives. Healthy People 2030 outlines specific objectives aimed at reducing health disparities related to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other factors (Healthy People, 2030). Electronic tools can contribute to these objectives by facilitating healthcare access, improving communication, and providing equitable care to diverse populations. These tools should ensure accessibility, account for language preferences, and exhibit cultural competence in healthcare services, thus directly addressing disparities (Saha, Beach, & Cooper, 2019). Digital technology allows for the collection and analysis of healthcare data, which can be vital in identifying disparities in healthcare delivery and tracking progress towards these goals (Terry, 2020). Therefore, healthcare organizations need to prioritize the integration of electronic health records and data analytics systems that support the documentation and analysis of patient information with a focus on diversity and disparities. By adhering to national health goals, healthcare organizations can leverage technology to make progress in achieving equitable patient-centered outcomes.
Socioeconomic factors significantly impact healthcare access and patient outcomes, often creating disparities. Low-income individuals and those from underprivileged backgrounds may face financial constraints that limit their access to advanced healthcare technologies, exacerbating health disparities. Thus, addressing these socioeconomic barriers through the utilization of electronic tools is paramount. One such tool is telehealth, which has gained prominence in recent years, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth services and mobile health applications can effectively bridge the gap by providing cost-effective and accessible care to underserved populations. These technologies enable patients to connect with healthcare providers remotely, reducing the need for physical presence, and thereby mitigating transportation costs and work-hour losses, often experienced by low-income individuals. In addition, mobile health applications provide a platform for self-management and education, empowering patients to take control of their health, thereby decreasing disparities . Electronic health records (EHRs) and patient portals can facilitate the management of chronic conditions by providing patients with real-time access to their health information, medication reminders, and appointment scheduling. These tools help reduce the burden of managing healthcare for disadvantaged populations and enhance healthcare engagement. When implementing digital equality, healthcare organizations should ensure that these tools are user-friendly and designed to accommodate individuals with varying levels of digital literacy, thus addressing socioeconomic pressures that impact healthcare access (Czaja et al., 2019).
Stakeholder Ethical Considerations
The integration of electronic and technological tools into healthcare to enhance diversity programs and patient-centered outcomes must be executed with due consideration of the ethical implications for various stakeholders. These stakeholders encompass not only patients but also healthcare providers and the organizations themselves. Ethical dimensions are crucial for ensuring that the use of electronic tools in healthcare is responsible, just, and considerate of the unique needs of diverse populations. One of the primary ethical considerations in the use of electronic tools is patient privacy and data security. Ensuring that patient data is protected and compliant with legal regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States, is a foundational requirement (Caine & Tierney, 2018). Healthcare organizations need to invest in secure electronic systems, encryption, and robust authentication mechanisms to safeguard patient information.
Additionally, informed consent is a vital aspect of electronic tools. Patients must have a clear understanding of how their data will be used and shared. Ethical healthcare organizations should provide transparent information to patients about the purpose of data collection and its potential uses. Patients should have the right to control their data and decide who has access to it (Kluge et al., 2020). Ethical marketing practices are also of utmost importance when reaching out to diverse populations. The advertisements and promotional materials of healthcare organizations should reflect cultural diversity and sensitivity. The representation of diverse communities in marketing materials, both in terms of images and language, is vital for building trust and avoiding the reinforcement of stereotypes. Stakeholders, including patients and the community at large, should perceive these organizations as respectful, inclusive, and ethically responsible (Buis, 2019). Healthcare organizations must also consider the ethical implications for healthcare providers. Providing them with cultural competence training and resources to navigate diverse patient populations is essential. Ethical considerations encompass the duty of healthcare providers to deliver unbiased and equitable care, regardless of their personal beliefs and biases. By implementing strict codes of conduct and ongoing training, organizations can ensure that their staff provides care that is respectful and sensitive to the unique needs of patients from diverse backgrounds (American College of Physicians, 2015).
Resolving Conflicts Between Personal Standards and Organizational Goals
The implementation of digital equality often introduces conflicts between personal standards and the goals of healthcare organizations. Healthcare professionals may have personal biases, cultural preferences, or personal beliefs that could conflict with the goal of providing equitable care to a diverse patient population. To address these conflicts, education, and training on cultural competence and diversity awareness are essential. Healthcare organizations should prioritize the development and implementation of training programs that educate their staff about cultural competence, diversity, and the unique needs of diverse patient populations. These programs can help healthcare providers understand and acknowledge their biases, and learn strategies to ensure that these biases do not influence patient care. Organizations should encourage a culture of inclusivity and sensitivity, reinforcing the importance of respecting diverse backgrounds and personal beliefs (Smedley, Stith, & Nelson, 2002). To training, healthcare organizations can implement policies and procedures that promote equity and diversity. For instance, they can establish clear guidelines on language use, respectful communication, and inclusive practices. Regular audits and assessments can help monitor and address disparities in patient care, and healthcare organizations can use technology to identify and rectify these disparities (Naylor et al., 2017).
The integration of electronic tools within diverse healthcare programs stands as a critical catalyst for achieving patient-centered outcomes and equitable care. By aligning with national health goals, addressing socioeconomic barriers, prioritizing stakeholder ethical considerations, and mitigating conflicts between personal biases and organizational objectives, technology emerges as a powerful enabler for healthcare advancement. Embracing user-friendly, culturally competent technology not only bridges gaps in healthcare access but also fosters trust, eliminates biases, and ensures inclusive care for diverse populations. By leveraging these tools effectively, healthcare organizations can further their commitment to delivering quality care and meeting the unique needs of all individuals within a diverse healthcare landscape.
Buis, L. R. (2019). The Ethical Implications of Health Communication via Social Media. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(10), e16600.
Caine, K., & Tierney, W. M. (2018). Opportunities and Challenges for Personalized Medicine: Ethical and Legal Concerns. The Medical Clinics of North America, 102(4), 777–790.
Czaja, S. J., Boot, W. R., Charness, N., Rogers, W. A., & Sharit, J. (2019). Improving Social Media and Digital Literacy in Older Adults: Lessons from Research. Educational Gerontology, 45(9), 550–568.
Kluge, E. H. W., Seiler, A., Schmeck, K., & Hennemann, S. (2020). Ethical Aspects of Digital Health from a Justice Perspective: A Scoping Review. PLoS One, 15(6), e0233978.
Naylor, M. D., Aiken, L. H., Kurtzman, E. T., Olds, D. M., & Hirschman, K. B. (2017). The Importance of Transitional Care in Achieving Health Reform. Health Affairs, 36(4), 957–964.
Saha, S., Beach, M. C., & Cooper, L. A. (2019). Patient-Centered Care: Addressing Cultural Diversity and Equity in Healthcare. The Medical Clinics of North America, 103(5), 953–964.
Terry, N. P. (2020). Digital Health: Redefining Healthcare in the New Normal. Frontiers of Health Services Management, 37(1), 19–27.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can technology improve patient-centered outcomes in diverse healthcare programs?
Technology plays a significant role in improving patient-centered outcomes by facilitating better access to healthcare services, enhancing communication, and ensuring cultural competence. Tools such as telehealth services, mobile applications, and electronic health records are particularly instrumental in bridging gaps in healthcare access and addressing disparities in diverse populations.
What are the key challenges in implementing electronic tools to address diversity in healthcare?
One of the significant challenges involves ethical considerations, including safeguarding patient data, ensuring informed consent, and employing culturally sensitive marketing practices. Additionally, socioeconomic pressures and disparities present hurdles in providing equitable access to advanced healthcare technologies for all demographics.
How do national health goals influence the integration of technology in diverse healthcare programs?
National health goals, such as those outlined in Healthy People 2030, guide healthcare organizations in addressing disparities and achieving health equity. Electronic tools need to align with these goals by ensuring accessibility, considering language preferences, and demonstrating cultural competence in healthcare delivery.
What ethical considerations are vital when employing technology in diverse healthcare settings?
Ethical considerations include protecting patient privacy and data security, ensuring informed consent for data usage, employing ethical marketing practices that respect cultural diversity, and providing healthcare providers with cultural competence training to eliminate biases and deliver equitable care.