Beginning the Conversation: Health Equity

Article Summary

Equity impacts the fabric of society down to the type and quality of healthcare different racial and ethnic patient populations receive. COVID-19 has underscored disparities in healthcare delivery in the United States, as the pandemic has disproportionately affected the nation’s black communities.
To care for and recognize the value of all individuals, healthcare must leverage data and analytics to better understand patient populations by race and ethnicity and determine how to meet the needs of its underserved populations.

Healthcare professionals of different races and ethnicities stacking hands

The Health Catalyst Client Huddle took a departure from its usual COVID-19 focus on June 10 to address another urgent national concern—health equity and the impact of white privilege. The discussion centered on the importance of caring for and recognizing the value of all individuals, as well as how analytics will support this mission.

Making the “Health Catalyst Way” Universal

As a mission-driven organization, Health Catalyst operates on a set of values and operating principles it calls the “Health Catalyst Way.” Part of the organization’s mission, CEO Dan Burton explained, is to actively listen to and care genuinely about everyone on the planet, recognizing the value of each person. He shared that Health Catalyst is joining the many voices calling for justice and change and seeking equity for all.

In Health Catalyst‘s commitment to universal justice and equity, Burton said that the organization is proactively inviting its clients to improve healthcare equity, using analytics to make meaningful progress in that area. To that end, he explained that Health Catalyst would offer needed technology at no incremental cost.

The Path to Achieving Health Equity

To complement Burton’s vision of health equity, the forum explored one organization’s efforts to identify and resolve healthcare disparity, using analytics to help drive health equity. Its strategies include using data to identify systematic improvement opportunities and stratify its patient population by race and ethnicity. The organization leverages these insights to determine how to meet the needs of its underserved populations, intending to eliminate the disparity in its population.

Hospice care served as an example of an opportunity to improve health equity, as it’s currently a white model, and most black Americans are not enrolled in hospice and pass away at home. To achieve equity in hospice care, providers need to start working with physicians to help make sure they share race and ethnicity information to address the implicit bias and demonstrate best practices for discussions around hospice in a culturally sensitive way.

Using Data and Analytics for Equitability in Healthcare

Recognition of the value of each individual and a commitment to equity and justice for all drive Health Catalyst and its partners to deliver quality care across all patient populations. And to support this mission, data- and analytics-based technology provides critical insight into healthcare disparity challenges and opportunities for improvement. With Health Catalyst’s offer to its partners of technology at no incremental cost to support health equity, many organizations will contribute to this critical mission.

Health Catalyst will continue the health equity conversation in an upcoming webinar, “Driving Equality in the Real World.”

Additional Reading

Would you like to learn more about this topic? Here are some articles we suggest:

  1. Health Equity: Why it Matters and How to Achieve it
  2. Advancing Health Equity – Data Driven Strategies Reduce Health Inequities
  3. Diversity in the Workplace: A Principle-Driven Approach to Broadening the Talent Pool
  4. Restarting Ambulatory Care and Elective Procedures: Analytics Guide Safe, Pragmatic Decisions
  5. Health Systems Share COVID-19 Financial Recovery Strategies in First Client Huddle
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