Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar      Advertiser Index     Subscribe     Contact Us    


Initial COVID-19 Testing Data Show Impact in Nashville's Minority Communities


 
Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI

Early data assessing the primary language of those who received COVID-19 tests at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), and tested positive, illustrates the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on racial or ethnic communities.

Of the first 18,491 patients tested for the novel coronavirus, 1,063 speak 37 languages other than English, according to analysis of electronic health records by VUMC's Office of Health Equity. Although this group represents 5.7% of those tested, they are 19.4% of those positive and the highest number reside in two adjacent Nashville ZIP codes.

To prioritize access to care among all people amid the pandemic, the Office of Health Equity, led by Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, vice president for Health Equity for VUMC and associate dean for Health Equity at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, is leading a workstream within the enterprise's COVID-19 Command Center.

Wilkins and colleagues, Elisa Friedman, MS, Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, and others across VUMC, are working to disaggregate data by language as well as race, ethnicity, ZIP code and insurance status about who has been tested, tested positive, hospitalized or deceased.

"It's critical to draw awareness to the disparity in communication and access to treatment as well as the economic, cultural and societal factors that impact ability to navigate care. We're zeroing in on disaggregating the data by race, ethnicity and language because we can't address inequities if we don't know who they are," said Wilkins, who is also executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.

Black and other racial and ethnic communities as well as low-income or other vulnerable populations, such as homeless or incarcerated individuals, are at higher risk of severe outcomes and death from COVID-19. Wilkins is using the rapid flow of real-time data to improve and institute protocols that prioritize health equity across local and national health systems.

The group's efforts to alleviate inequities in Nashville's Spanish- and Arabic-speaking communities reflects gaps spotlighted in early data analysis.

VUMC's COVID-19 health equity workstream is an example of the rapid response needed to address disparities during a pandemic. Teams designing pandemic preparedness plans can prioritize health equity by recognizing how underlying social, racial, political and economic factors drive health inequities, and establishing channels and guidelines that push through barriers, Wilkins wrote in a recent paper published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. The paper was coauthored by Philip Alberti, PhD, senior director, Health Equity Research & Policy at the Association for American Medical Colleges, and Paula Lantz, PhD, MS, associate dean for Academic Affairs and professor of Public Policy, James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy at Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Entrenched health inequities can impede a comprehensive public health response from informing people, such as lower income essential workers, who need evidence-based outreach. Health systems' rapid response during a pandemic must put health equity at the forefront.

Wilkins and her co-authors highlight the importance of breaking down silos between institutions, agencies, and other organizations during pandemics. Reaching communities with detailed, easy-to-understand information, for example, may require partnering with trusted community organizations. In a pandemic, access to timely, expert information is critical and the health of neighborhoods and the larger community depend on nimble communication tactics that actively work to push information to those who need it but may not know where to look.

 
Share:

Related Articles:


Recent Articles

Ascension Saint Thomas Heart First in State, Region, Ascension to Offer Novel Medical Technique

On February 9, Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West became the first Ascension hospital in the country and the only medical facility in Tennessee to offer intracoronary brachytherapy, a procedure that helps improve chest pain in patients with stents that have re-narrowed (sometimes called "collapsed") and reduces the chance of them narrowing again in the future.

Read More

Functional Seizures Associated with Stroke, Psychiatric Disorders in Electronic Health Records Study

In a large-scale study of electronic health records, Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators have determined the prevalence of functional seizures and characterized comorbidities associated with them.

Read More

New survey shows minorities, children missing cancer screenings and vaccinations

52% of adults missing lifesaving screenings to prevent cancer are not rescheduling them

Read More

Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Swedish Medical Center Sheds New Light on Brain Tumors

Neurosurgery is a complex and intricate process, and it is important to continuously refine and seek innovative techniques to make it safer, gentler and more precise and effective.

Read More

Study Finds Recommended ICU Sedatives Equally Safe, Effective

Sedative medications used in intensive care are associated with increased delirium, which is in turn connected with higher medical costs and greater risk of death and ICU-related dementia.

Read More

Spectrum Solutions Collaborates with UCLA on Saliva-Based Next-Gen Sequencing (NGS) Liquid Biopsy Research for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer

Study to focus on using saliva in the analysis of cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) to accurately and non-invasively detect non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Read More

DRUG COMPANIES URGED TO PROVIDE DISCOUNTS TO 340B COMMUNITY PHARMACIES

Yesterday, counsel for the American Hospital Association and the five other national groups and three individual hospital systems that sued the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over its failure to halt drug company actions that undermine the 340B drug pricing program sent letters demanding that the offending drug companies immediately halt their illegal activities.

Read More

Study Shows Drastic Increases in Opioid-Affected Births

The rate of mothers who had an opioid-related diagnosis when delivering their baby increased by 131% from 2010-2017, as the incidence of babies diagnosed with drug withdrawal, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), increased by 82% nationally during that same time period.

Read More

Case Management: Enhancing Revenue, Care Transitions and Patient Outcomes throughout the Hospital System

The importance of hospital and health system case management has grown exponentially over the past 10 years and is now getting attention from leaders throughout the healthcare industry.

Read More

TennCare Block Grant Waiver Approved

More than a year after submitting Amendment 42 to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting a waiver to increase flexibility in the administration of the state's Medicaid program, Tennessee has received an affirmative nod to move forward.

Read More

Email Print
 
 

 

 


Tags:
COVID, Vanderbilt, Wilkins
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: