9 healthcare systems join forces with IHI to reduce healthcare inequities

Henry Ford Health System, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, and Rush University Medical Center are among nine healthcare systems working on a new initiative to reduce inequities in health and healthcare access, treatment and outcomes.

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched its two-year “Pursuing Equity” initiative on Monday. Its goal is to break new ground by explicitly addressing institutional racism and by identifying ways healthcare organizations can reduce clinical disparities of care as well as improve equity in employee wellness and social determinants of health.

The other systems participating in the project include HealthPartners in Bloomington, Minnesota; Main Line Health in Newton Square, Pennsylvania; Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis, Tennessee; Northwest Colorado Health, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Each system will build on the work they’ve already done within their institutions, including launching programs to reduce clinical disparities, track equity in process and outcomes data, and improve knowledge and capability.

“We see a future where every healthcare system in the country pursues equity as part of daily work and core skills, ensuring that individuals and communities can attain their full health potential—and we believe Pursuing Equity is an important step in creating a blueprint for other organizations to follow,” said Derek Feeley, IHI president and CEO, in an announcement (PDF). “Pursuing Equity is part of the next phase of IHI’s ongoing commitment to address the unjust, costly, and persistent inequities in health and healthcare across the nation. We are energized and ready to continue this critical work.”

The initiative will be funded by theRx Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and the participating health systems.