Quality Field Notes: Equity

01 Jul 2014
Quality Field Notes features key lessons learned by regional Alliances of clinicians, patients, and payers in Aligning Forces for Quality communities as they work to transform local health care and provide models for national reform. The latest topic in this series focuses on improving equity in health care. In 2009, the excess health care costs associated with disparities were estimated at $60 billion. A review of health quality data shows race and ethnicity continue to impact a patient’s chance of receiving specific procedures and treatments. For about 40 percent of quality measures, Blacks received worse care than Whites, and Hispanics received worse care than non-Hispanic Whites. 
Three case studies highlight lessons learned from three Aligning Forces for Quality communities:
In Cincinnati, a clinic with a growing Spanish-speaking population employed a bilingual nurse to help assist patients with diabetes.
In Cleveland, community providers worked to spread best practices in blood pressure control for African-American patients, using the insights of high performers to improve care throughout the region.
In Detroit, community leaders launched a “peer storytelling” video company to increase understanding of race, ethnicity, and language (REL) data collection and improve blood pressure control among Black patients with hypertension.
The entire suite of materials, including an issue brief, an infographic, case studies, a resource guide, and an interview with Thomas E. Love, PhD, director of Better Health Greater Cleveland’s Data Center, is available on the RWJF site here.