Awards recognize commitment to advancing health care equity through telehealth
UC Davis Health has received two Telehealth Equity Catalyst (TEC) Awards from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in recognition of the academic medical institution’s commitment to leverage telehealth to improve health care equity.
Each $15,000 award acknowledges AAMC-member institutions that seek to promote health care equity through novel and effective uses of telehealth and health technology, while also addressing the obstacles to telehealth care that affect health and health care equity.
Awarding projects addressing telehealth accessibility
One award was given to Jennifer Rosenthal, associate professor of pediatrics and faculty director of digital health equity and process improvement for the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, and collaborators Kristen Hoffman, associate professor of pediatrics, Leah Meisel, digital health equity program coordinator for the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, Elva Horath, pediatric telehealth research analyst for the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, Audriana Ketchersid, pediatric telehealth research analyst for the UC Davis Center for Health and Technology, and Daniel Stein, Epic telehealth supervisor at UC Davis Health. They were recognized for their work to expand UC Davis Health’s NICU Virtual Family-Centered Rounds (FCR) program across diverse language groups.
The second award was given to Meisel, and collaborators Rosenthal, Horath, Ketchersid, Krystle Guenther, nurse manager for pediatric ambulatory services at UC Davis Health, and Zhong Wu, medical information specialist at UC Davis Health. Their award recognizes their efforts to increase accessibility of pediatric telehealth visits for patients and families with limited English language proficiency.
Expanding NICU Virtual Family-Centered Rounds
Award funding will be used by Rosenthal and her team to enhance the Virtual FCR program that was implemented in March 2020 as a pilot trial. The program engages families in multidisciplinary bedside rounds for hospitalized patients, giving parents and caregivers a chance to be virtually present at their baby’s bedside through a telehealth platform. An AAMC TEC Award given to the program last year allowed for the cultural adaption and translation of program materials into six languages, as well as the establishment of a parent and provider advisory board. Funding from this year’s award expands upon these accomplishments and further supports the ability of families with limited English language proficiency to utilize the program.
“We are honored to receive this award and look forward to using the funds to help ensure that anyone, no matter what their language preference is, can equally participate in and benefit from this program,” Rosenthal said. “Our goal is to elevate this type of patient-centered care at the national level and transform how hospitalized children and their families receive care.”
Increasing equity and accessibility of pediatric telehealth visits
Within the past year, UC Davis Health created a digital equity and inclusion (DEI) telehealth dashboard that assesses how various populations of people use telehealth. Data from the dashboard revealed that pediatric patients and their families with limited English language proficiency are less likely to complete telehealth visits than their English-proficient counterparts.
Meisel will use her award funding to create language-appropriate materials for pediatric patients and their families with limited English proficiency to increase the number of completed ambulatory telehealth visits. The project brings together stakeholders from various groups, including pediatric providers at clinics throughout the state, frontline staff and bi-lingual and multilingual parents.
“Our team is thrilled to receive this award and this project will serve as a foundation for future quality improvement projects at UC Davis Health that specifically focus on digital equity and inclusion,” Meisel said.