Memorial Health develops online tool to assess health equity for hospitals: 4 things to know

Springfield, Ill.-based Memorial Health System is launching an assessment tool to gauge race- and income-based health disparities for hospitals, according to The State Journal-Register.

Four things to know:

  1. Hospital leaders will answer 31 questions designed to measure how hospitals track and actively try to address social determinants of health in patient care. It will inquire if the hospital is supporting minority-owned and environmentally friendly vendors and whether it tries to reduce racial bias in clinicians. The tool also analyzes how the hospital's board of directors and leadership ranks represents the diversity of its community.
  1. The algorithm will develop a "Racial Equity in Healthcare Progress Report" that is only shared with the organization. The assessment will allow hospitals to track their progress.  It will be positioned as the gold standard for health equity assessment in Illinois, with the intention of becoming a nationally deployed tool.

  2. "My hope is that it will put friendly pressure on organizations to advance their own equity work," said Becky Gabany, Memorial's director of community engagement. "I hope it inspires change and drives people to participate."

  3. The tool was developed in partnership with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. Memorial will serve as one of the assessment tool's pilot sites. IHA and Memorial will be working with several other health systems as the tool is tested and released.

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