Significant ethnic and racial inequalities are still prevalent within the U.S. healthcare system. In 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation launched Finding Answers: Disparities Research for Change program, which is designed to reduce ethnic and racial issues in healthcare. The program features a six-step action plan to assist people and organizations to help improve minority health and foster equality. Although the disparities and causes may differ across regions or populations, by following the steps, healthcare professionals are guided through a standardized process to address equality issues. The six steps include the following: linking quality and equity, creating a culture of equity, diagnosing the disparity, designing the activity, securing buy-in, and implementing change.
• Do you practice quality and equity by doing the right thing for the right patient, at the right time, regardless of patient’s demographics?
• Do you openly identify problems and take responsibility for addressing them?
• Do you actively look for the issues that contribute to the difference in quality of care and outcomes between differing populations?
• Have you considered making an activity that could be used to identify healthcare disparities?
• Is there an aim to have interested individuals commit to an action plan? This could include freeing up resources or implementing new ideas that foster equality.
• Are you willing and able to adapt to any issues as they arise after implementing your equity plan?
Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.