HumanInsight Leveraging Electronic Health Records to Address Breast Cancer Disparities
Curr Breast Cancer Rep. 2022 Sep 3:1-6. doi: 10.1007/s12609-022-00457-z. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the leading cause of cancer death. However, racial and ethnic minority groups, as well as rural and underserved populations, face disparities that limit their access to specialty care for breast cancer. To address these disparities, health care providers can leverage an electronic health record (EHR).
RECENT FINDINGS: Few studies have evaluated the potential benefits of using EHRs to address breast cancer disparities, and none of them outlines a standard approach for this effort. However, these studies outline that EHRs can be used to identify and notify patients at risk for breast cancer. These systems can also automate referrals and scheduling for screening and genetic testing, as well as recruit eligible patients for clinical trials. EHRs can also provide educational materials to reduce risks associated with modifiable risk factors, such as physical activity, obesity, and smoking. These systems can also support telemedicine visits and centralize inter-institutional communication to improve treatment adherence and the quality of care.
SUMMARY: EHRs have tremendous potential to increase accessibility and communication for patients with breast cancer by augmenting patient engagement, improving communication between patients and providers, and strengthening communication among providers. These efforts can reduce breast cancer disparities by increasing breast cancer screening, improving treatment adherence, expanding access to specialty care, and promoting risk-reducing habits among racial and ethnic minority groups and other underserved populations.
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