A national effort to promote greater hospital engagement in addressing racial healthcare disparities has been fully embraced by Maryland's community healthcare providers.
The state is the first in the nation to get all of its 46 community acute-care hospitals to participate in the Equity of Care initiative, a collaboration of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association and America's Essential Hospitals.
The campaign's goal is to better identify vulnerable populations in communities that experience comparatively poorer health outcomes in order to devise effective strategies to eliminate those disparities. The effort includes increasing the collection and use of demographic data, expanding cultural competency training for providers and committing to greater leadership diversity within health systems.
More than 1,000 hospitals nationwide have signed on to the Equity campaign since its launch in 2011. Participating providers agree to track a quality measure by race to help determine if health disparities exist. —Steven Ross Johnson