This post is by Premier employees Madeleine Biondolillo, MD, MBA, vice president, academic initiatives and strategic collaboratives, and Jessica Safko, director, member engagement.

One of the foundational goals of health care is to improve personal health — including among the members of communities that essential hospitals serve. But this improvement cannot occur until the needs of community members are understood.

Structural, community, and individual factors all can contribute to health inequity. Hospitals and health systems should consider a holistic and cooperative approach to advance health equity by defining and engaging the community, understanding specific needs, and planning to undertake initiatives that serve everyone, regardless of privileges or limitations.

Premier works with America’s Essential Hospitals and is thrilled to invite all association members to join its new PINC AI™ Health Equity Collaborative (the “Collaborative”). Beginning in January 2023, the three-year Collaborative will leverage patient-specific social drivers of health data, analytics and benchmarking, individual assessments, and peer-to-peer learning to help hospitals and health systems innovate, engage, and improve the health of communities.

Additionally, the Collaborative will focus on collecting best practices from peer hospitals for shared learning and using patient-specific data and health-related social needs (HRSN) to evaluate targeted interventions to drive outcome improvement. Collaborative participants will receive support to create a health equity plan that meets regulatory requirements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission while minimizing the burden on staff.

Collaborative participants will have the opportunity to integrate patient-specific, standardized social drivers of health data with quality outcomes data to foster an innovative future for health equity improvement. Ultimately, through the creation of a unique Health Disparities Index, the Collaborative will support policy development and payment strategies to bolster further efforts at reducing health disparities. Collaborative participants can choose to participate at a Core level, featuring shared learning and virtual support, or at an Accelerated level, including data-driven engagement and onsite support.

Premier sought input on the Collaborative structure from certain members of America’s Essential Hospitals. During a focus group session, hospital and health system leaders from association members — including Parkland Health, in Dallas; University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), in Little Rock, Ark.; St. Luke’s Health System, in Boise, Idaho; Broward Health, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Erlanger Health System, in Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Grady Memorial Hospital, in Atlanta — shared with Premier their initiatives to target health equity, the associated challenges, and strategies and capabilities needed to help reduce health disparities.

Focus group participants stressed the importance of collaboration and innovation; prioritized best practices, ideally involving opportunities for shared learning from peer hospitals; and suggested using patient-specific social drivers of health and HRSN data to help evaluate targeted interventions to drive improvement.

Tracey Hoke, MD, MSc, chief of quality and population health at America’s Essential Hospitals-member UVA Health, in Charlottesville, Va., is expected to chair the Collaborative’s Data Analytics Advisory Council. Hoke is one of the nation’s leading health care data experts, and her leadership will help ensure that the perspectives and needs of all Collaborative participants, including member organizations that join the Collaborative, are at the forefront of the Collaborative’s direction.

Learn More 

For more information on health equity policies and requirements, as well as trends to expect in 2023, view an on-demand webinar from Premier.

We invite you and the leaders at your organization to schedule an informational meeting about health equity policy and this Collaborative opportunity to drive improvement in a cost-effective manner, bringing economies of scale at a time when new regulations demand attention to health equity, yet staff bandwidth is limited.

For more information about Premier’s PINC AI™ Health Equity Collaborative, contact Madeleine Biondolillo, MD, MBA, vice president, academic initiatives and strategic collaboratives; or Carolyn Scott, RN, MEd, MHA, group vice president, strategic collaboratives with Premier.