What barriers to care do chronic disease patients face? How are barriers assessed and addressed? How can enhancing the collection and use of health information help address barriers to care?
These are questions that Assistant Professor Charles Senteio seeks to answer. Senteio has worked as an entrepreneur in the healthcare industry since 2004, and his primary research focuses on investigating the collection and use of health information that can help to address persistent chronic illness disparities.
Senteio began his appointment at SC&I in the fall of 2016. He joined SC&I as a part of the school’s initiative to expand its research in healthcare. In addition to teaching in the doctoral program, Senteio is interested in connecting with the local community and building relationships to help with his research.
“I hope that I can play a key role in helping SC&I continue to expand its healthcare research, particularly community-based health,” Senteio said. “And although I am not connected to community-based organizations here yet, I feel very optimistic about being able to forge the relationships necessary to do community-based work which is integral to designing and evaluating implementations that hope to address some of the issues I work with.”
Senteio’s research focuses on improving care for vulnerable patients, and while he has investigated disparities across a variety of chronic conditions such as HIV, hypertension and diabetes, his current research focuses on chronic kidney disease.
In the past year, Senteio interviewed dialysis patients, aged 20 to 85, from low-income, urban areas to determine why some patients choose not to be on the kidney transplant list.
“Patients get the news that their kidneys are failing or failed. And while there are two basic options –dialysis or a kidney transplant – some patients are not aware of their treatment options,” Senteio explained. “A transplant, if you’re physically able, results in better outcomes and lower cost of care.”
Yet some patients who may be eligible for transplant waitlists remain on dialysis. Transplanted patients live longer, have a better quality of life, and incur less healthcare costs than those who remain on dialysis.
This project is representative of Senteio’s research to explore the various factors which may present barriers to care. His goal is to develop an intervention to improve patients’ understanding of their treatment options in order to help them make informed decisions.
For the past 15 years, Senteio has dedicated his work to healthcare. He is a licensed master social worker, has an MBA, and received his doctorate in health informatics. In terms of continuing his work, Senteio said his interests, along with the mission of SC&I, are a perfect match.
“It was appealing to me to be able to chart a course informed by my sensibilities, interests, background, and experience, which are aligned with the organization,” he said. “That was one of the primary reasons I was enthused and excited about coming here.”