The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) published a health equity Special Issue in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association’s (JAMIA), “Health Informatics and Health Equity: Improving our Reach and Impact.” This Special Issue, featuring 23 articles, highlights health informatics research that focuses on marginalized and underserved groups, health disparities and health equity.
“We live in an era of widening inequality worldwide, especially in relation to key elements that affect health outcomes,” said Suzanne Bakken, RN, PhD, FAAN, FACMI, editor-in-chief, JAMIA. “The Special Issue illustrates this urgent need and extends our knowledge about the intersection of health informatics and health disparities; ultimately, so we can advance health equity and improve quality of life as well as healthcare quality for all.”
The Special Issue led by Guest Editors, Tiffany Veinot, PhD and Jessica Ancker, PhD, FACMI, addresses three levels of health disparity research—detecting disparities, understanding why disparities exist and reducing disparities—to inform priority areas where health informatics is able to advance health equity. Articles include:
- Social Determinants of Health in Mental Health Care and Research: A Case for Greater Inclusion
- Unclassified Drug Overdose Deaths in the Opioid Crisis: Emerging Patterns of Inequity
- Challenges With Quality of Race and Ethnicity Data in Observational Databases
- Online Health Community Experiences of Sexual Minority Women With Cancer
- Sharing Personal Health Record Data Elements in Protective Custody: Youth and Stakeholder Perspectives
The Special Issue highlights several needs and opportunities for future work, including more theory-informed research, evaluations of the equity impact of interventions and novel upstream informatics interventions. The Special Issue also illustrates the need for expanded measurement of socioeconomic status and health literacy, as well as leveraging large data sets to investigate health equity relevant questions.
“As informaticians, we search for insights that will generate new approaches to reduce gaps between current healthcare practices and our societal goal to achieve better health for all,” said Douglas Fridsma, MD, PhD, FACP, FACMI, president and CEO, AMIA. “At AMIA, we’re committed to fostering a community of informatics leaders who are advancing knowledge from healthcare’s data to accelerate the transformation of health and healthcare for all people, regardless of race and ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status or geographic location.”
The Special Issue, Health Informatics and Health Equity: Improving our Reach and Impact, will be available to the public for free through September 17.
About the American Medical Informatics Association
AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,500 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics and public health informatics.
About the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association
JAMIA, published by Oxford University Press, is a monthly peer-reviewed journal for biomedical and health informatics. Covering the full spectrum of activities in the field, JAMIA includes informatics articles in the areas of clinical care, clinical research, translational science, implementation science, imaging, education, consumer health, public health and policy. JAMIA's articles describe innovative informatics research and systems that help to advance biomedical science and to promote health. Case reports, perspectives and reviews also help readers stay connected with the most important informatics developments in implementation, policy and education.