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SINI2009 – final keynote, Suzanne Bakken July 25, 2009

Posted by peterjmurray in conference, Keynote, nursing informatics, SINI2009.
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Suzanne Bakken’s closing keynote address is titled “Reducing health disparities through informatics”. She began by describing the range of health disparities, including racial or ethnic differences in the quality of healthcare, differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions among specific population groups, and differences that occur by gender, race or ethnicity, education or income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation. She asked whether informatics will be part of the solution to the problems, or whether it will result in increased disparities (eg in rural areas, if they do not get enough IT funding to meet specific needs).

Suzanne sees the digital divide in 2009 being due to access issues, although racial and ethnic differences are decreasing, but rural versus urban differences remain along with age-related differences (“senior divide”).

She sees issues of use and understanding of systems, eg around computer literacy, functional literacy, numerac and health literacy, as remaining important. She described a number of projects within her institution, aimed at addressing some of the disparities, including self-management of hypertension in diabetes, and self-assessment via a PHR.

One project she described is “Facebook PPALS” – Promoting Physical Activity Among Adolescent Latinos – addressing overweight immigrant teenagers and trying to promote physical activity.

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