Equity in Patient Care
Our workforce is profoundly dedicated to the care of our communities and the quality of life of our patients.
As such, many believe there is no variation in care delivery based on race, gender or sexual orientation. However, objective national data about unconscious bias do not support these long-held assumptions.
To address this, our recommended actions focus on education, training and creating an organizational structure that holds leaders accountable for driving needed changes.
Over the next five years, UMMS will make procedural and clinical changes to work toward eliminating health disparities related to race and ethnicity.
Collecting objective data from our patients, communities and workforce is foundational to fulfilling these recommendations.
The first step is to establish comprehensive data-gathering systems to better understand which groups have consistently experienced inferior health outcomes and in which specific areas. To do this, we will:
- Organize an UMMS data analytics team
- Create a dashboard to focus attention on areas of need
- Align data collection, across all System sites, to collect information on patient race and ethnicity
Additionally, we will use currently available data to:
- Identify areas of disparity and establish strategies to reduce disparities by 20% a year
- Evaluate site- and provider-specific outcomes by age, gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status to understand current state
Training and Education
We will create a standardized approach to workforce education and orientation that includes:
- Cultural and racial perspectives of care delivery
- Recognition of the history of health care delivery
- The value of using evidence-based, standardized language of care to create objective improvements in care delivery and outcomes
We will partner with University of Maryland Baltimore to create a Center for Equity Innovation, which will:
- Maintain the resources required to develop the education platform across all health care professionals
- Track outcomes and quality performance to provide objective assessment of performance
- Drive access to clinical trials for under-represented minorities and disadvantaged members of our communities