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Address health disparities

Provider news | Monday, August 3, 2020

Racial and ethnic minority groups are at an increased risk of experiencing severe illness, as well as contracting COVID-19 because of long-standing health and social inequities. Below are several ways you can address health disparities in these groups during the pandemic.

Communicate with sensitivity
Build skills for understanding and addressing negative patient experiences, including accessing care, by promoting health communications available in multiple languages – particularly messages regarding COVID-19. Start a conversation with your patient to understand the barriers he or she might face. You can also provide patients with resources addressing social determinants of health and cultural barriers to health care.

Target outreach strategies
Ensure patients understand the importance of receiving routine and preventive care during the pandemic. Accessibility to care is essential, so make sure your patients know how to access services like transportation, translation, and SCFHP’s nurse advice line with integrated telehealth.

Track disparities
Keep track of disparities among racial and ethnic groups in COVID-19 cases, complications, and outcomes to inform disparity reduction activities.

Address food insecurities
Inform patients about the availability of food banks for food assistance, as well as the CalFresh food program.

Address mental health concerns by integrating trauma-informed framework
Include checks on mental health as one of the things to ask about during visits. Give the patient uninterrupted time to speak about their worries and concerns so you can better understand the life experiences contributing to their fears.

Read more news in the August issue of Provider e-News