Next year, service providers will strive to build on their gains through equity and access while continuing to engage with their communities, ”said Kalpana Ramia, vice president of innovation and director of the Essential Hospitals Institute, a division of America’s major hospitals. According to Ramia, it is very difficult between the hospital and its community, and what happens on one side affects the other.
Partnering with local organizations to proactively address social determinants of health, such as housing, food and transportation, helps institutions reduce community distrust, build enduring relationships, and develop long-term health strategies, according to Dr. Carol Horowitz, co-director of the Health Equity Institute. Research at the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Saini, New York.
To better serve vulnerable populations, service providers are starting to work in teams with academics, information technology and quality experts, and policymakers and industry stakeholders, Horowitz said.
Community leaders, schools and minority-owned businesses can also help implement community-based health and wellness interventions, Salas-López said.
Relying on community members to identify needs and collaborate to achieve goals is critical to building trust, according to Dr. Timothy Eberlein, a cancer surgeon at Siteman Cancer Center, University of Washington Cancer Center in St. Louis.
“You can’t just swoop in with a great idea and some money and say, ‘Gee, I want to do this,’ but then when the money runs out, the program closes and the community is left to fend for themselves,” Eberlein said. said. “It is imperative that you develop a long-term strategy with each of these communities.”
Collecting additional data on inequities in the health system is the second key component for the next year.
Analyzing genomic, clinical, demographic and other information will enable service providers to deepen their understanding of socioeconomic factors and address patient vulnerabilities, said Dr. John Fraunfelter, chief physician at Jvion, an artificial intelligence software provider.
Summarizing problems and solutions without taking into account the unique experiences of individuals will no longer help, Frunfelter said.
In collaboration with the Institute for Health Improvement, the Commonwealth Foundation is part of an initiative that works between hospitals and communities to identify specific goals for improvement, generate more accurate data, and create a set of action plans, according to Eric Schneider, senior vice president, in collaboration with the Institute for Health Improvement. President of Political Research at the Commonwealth Foundation.
These action plans will be implemented by hospital executives and CEOs hired to drive operational changes.
Most importantly, health leaders must be held accountable for their commitment to equity.
This means efforts go beyond revising mission statements and providing brief training on diversity issues to developing inclusive recruitment protocols and proactively intervening when inequalities exist in communities, ”said Dr Laurie Zephyrin, Vice-President President for the Promotion of Health Equity Commonwealth Foundation.
According to Zephyrin, financial and regulatory pressures can be a way to encourage healthcare leaders to examine their internal culture, attitudes and beliefs and take remedial action.
Service providers seeking to close inequalities will also need to promote public policies that will support their efforts. One example of this is the expansion of pandemic-era policies that facilitate access to telehealth for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, Schneider said. Access to technology, broadband and other resources needed for telemedicine are also important components.
“Historically, Medicaid patients have been ignored by the healthcare system,” Dang said. “We know they are more likely to live in primary care deserts, where it is really difficult to get quality medical care and face barriers such as lack of transportation and childcare.”