IHI Releases Health Equity Guide for Health Care Organizations

New white paper offers actionable guidance, self-assessment tool,
case study, and other key information for health care organizations to
improve health equity

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#disparities–The Institute
for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
aims to ignite new thinking and
activity by the nation’s hospitals and health systems to address the
ongoing, decades-long reality of disparities and inequities in health
and health care. With the publication of a new white paper – Achieving
Health Equity: A Guide for Health Care Organizations
identifies numerous strategies health care systems can adopt to address
equity in their communities, as well as in the access, treatments, and
outcomes of health care. The white paper also describes how the
time-tested tools of quality improvement can accelerate the elimination
of inequities by race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and more.

IHI’s new white paper, available here,
is grounded in the belief that one of the most significant ways to
improve health and health care in the US is to focus on equity.
Organizations can more effectively pursue the Triple Aim of better care,
better health, and lower per capita costs if equity is central to these

According to lead author, Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA, Patient Safety Officer
and Medical Director, Office of Quality and Patient Safety, The Joint
Commission, for too long equity has been the “forgotten aim” in the
quality improvement movement, even though it was identified as a key
priority by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2001. Dr. Wyatt states:
“The data clearly show that inequities exist, and we believe that armed
with the tools and guidance in this white paper, health care leaders
have ways to elevate equity as a strategic priority in their
organizations and to take immediate action to improve health equity at
the point of care and in the community. Together, we can reduce unjust,
costly, and persistent inequities in health and health care across our

Designed to be actionable with numerous starting points, the white paper
includes a 5-part framework for health care organizations to improve
health equity in the communities they serve, a list of key
considerations when measuring health equity, a case study of Henry Ford
Health System, and a self-assessment tool for health care organizations
to evaluate their current state related to each component of the

Derek Feeley, IHI CEO, remarks in the foreword to the white paper that
no matter where a health care organization decides to put its energy,
improving health equity requires a fundamentally new outlook on the work
ahead. He states that the framework urges organizations to “work both
within our walls, dismantling the institutional racism and implicit
biases that hold us back; and beyond our walls, creating and nurturing
new partnerships in our communities that can make an impact on all the
social determinants of health.” Feeley adds, “Improving only what we’re
doing now isn’t enough; real improvement will require broadening and
deepening our connections to our patients, our staff, and our

Additional authors of the white paper include Mara Laderman, MSPH,
Senior Research Associate, IHI; Laura Botwinick, MS, Director, Graduate
Program in Health Administration and Policy, University of Chicago;
Kedar Mate, MD, Chief Innovation and Education Officer, IHI; and John
Whittington, MD, Senior Fellow and Lead Faculty for the Triple Aim, IHI.

IHI strives for a future free of health inequities, and is committing
its tools, talents, and team to this essential human pursuit. Working in
collaboration with like-minded organizations, communities, and
individuals, IHI aims to accelerate the elimination of inequities in
health access, treatments, and outcomes across our nation. Visit IHI’s Health
Equity topic page
for more information and resources.

About the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
IHI is
a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. For
more than 25 years, we have partnered with visionaries, leaders, and
front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways
to improve the health of individuals and populations. Recognized as an
innovator, convener, trustworthy partner, and driver of results, we are
the first place to turn for expertise, help, and encouragement for
anyone, anywhere who wants to change health and health care profoundly
for the better. To advance our mission, IHI’s work is focused in five
key areas: Improvement Capability; Person- and Family-Centered Care;
Patient Safety; Quality, Cost, and Value; and Triple Aim for
Populations. Learn more at ihi.org.


For Institute for Healthcare Improvement
Joanna Clark, 207-712-1404