Bringing equity to safety and quality work, too

If your organization is looking to translate its commitment to equity into the safety and quality work you do, a team of leaders from New York City Health + Hospitals — the nation’s largest integrated municipal health system — offers both timely advice and examples of a 4-part strategy in action.

  1. Start with a needs assessment, involving input from at least five percent of the workforce to ground the organizational culture shift in data.
  2. Map the work streams associated with all quality and safety activities in the organization and shore up capacity for equity work.
  3. Apply an equity lens to existing quality and safety efforts using iterative Plan-Do-Act-Study cycles.
  4. Use data visualization with transparent milestones and measures.

The team’s strategy is part of a larger effort to address historic racial, ethnic, socio-economic and other inequities in a health system that serves a diverse population of more than 1 million patients. The 4-step approach is described in detail in a blog article published this summer and freely available from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

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