Pollack, R. (2016). Strengthening Our Commitment to Health Equity. Hospitals & Health Networks. Retrieved from: http://www.hhnmag.com/articles/7608-strengthening-our-hospitals-commitment-to-health-equity.
Health disparities for many racially diverse individuals still persist among healthcare systems. Inequities in terms of health conditions as well as treatment are present, for example, diabetes is significantly higher among Latino Americans as compared to white counterparts. One third of patients on dialysis due to kidney failure are African Americans, even though the entire population is only 13% African American. And for recommended treatment administering times, minority patients tend to not receive treatment when necessary.
These disparities are caused by a number of factors, including health insurance coverage, discrimination, and the lack of addressing the social determinants of health. In order to eliminate health disparities, the #123forEquity Pledge Act campaign was launched in 2015. By asking healthcare professionals to increase data collection on race, ethnicity, and language, increasing training dedicated to cultural competency, and increasing leadership diversity, the campaign aims to reduce and eventually eliminate health disparities.
Currently, more than 1,200 hospitals have taken the pledge, and are utilizing community partnerships to improve care and health outcomes of patients. Healthcare systems must work to understand why disparities exist in order to fully diminish the problem.