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IHI Research Offers Ways To Improve Health Equity

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement has released a white paper that identifies ways in which hospitals and health systems can improve health equity in their communities.

The research focuses on reducing health disparities related to race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health status, disability, sexual orientation, geographic location, and other characteristics.

The white paper includes a framework that health care organizations can use to achieve health equity through five key points:

  • making health equity a strategic priority;
  • creating structures and processes to support efforts to improve health equity;
  • implementing strategies focused on the determinants of health that health care organizations can directly affect;
  • reducing institutional racism; and
  • forming partnerships with community organizations.

The white paper also includes guidance for measuring health equity and a self-assessment tool that hospitals and health systems can use to gauge their health equity work.

America’s Essential Hospitals’ Equity Leadership Forum has found that hospitals should stratify quality measures and care experience by various patient characteristics and address language barriers to reduce health care disparities.

Essential Hospitals Institute, the research and quality arm of America’s Essential Hospitals, has compiled a compendium of health equity tools that can help essential hospitals as they pursue health equity goals. The compendium features a list of tools and resources related to patient assessment of equitable care and provider evaluation of health equity practices, as well as peer-reviewed journal articles related to these areas. To learn more, view the Health Equity Compendium.

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About the Author

Michelle Rosenfeld is senior writer/editor at America's Essential Hospitals.