Economic, social, gender, racial and other injustices continue to create barriers to accessing high-quality health care across the nation, and we know this is very prevalent in our patient populations. To help organizations close the gaps in access and quality among patient groups where health disparities are frequent, The Joint Commission (TJC) and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are growing their efforts to address systemic problems that impact care. This work is very much in alignment with many organizations’ missions to improve the health of the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable.
A few concerning facts:
- The maternal mortality rate for Black women is four times higher than that for non-Hispanic White women
- Hispanic women are 20% more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Hispanic White women
- Asian Americans are eight times more likely to die from hepatitis B than non-Hispanic Whites
- Diabetes rates are more than 30% higher among Native Americans and Latinos than among Whites
TJC is offering a new national advanced certification for health care equity. The program examines equity issues in all aspects of care, treatment and health care delivery. In addition, the program’s accreditation standards are a new National Patient Safety Goal. We encourage you all to learn more about this important certification and how your teams can apply these learnings to ensure all people always experience safe, high-quality care. Learn more here.
CMS has identified that race and ethnicity data is incomplete for a substantial proportion of individuals. Regulators are working to improve data quality, which will aid health equity evaluations. Additionally, they are prioritizing partnerships to identify and address health inequities and are moving away from programs when implicit bias is found.
Both TJC and CMS are focused on ensuring their organizations reach and help underserved individuals, and this is our goal as caregivers as well. In October, the CAHL JEDI Committee will be hosting an education session to learn the tools to successfully implement CAHL’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Toolkit, which will help us meet some of the TJC certification requirements. More information will be available soon.
We look forward to continuing the journey together to ensure that every patient that walks through our doors experiences safe, high-quality care.
The CAHL JEDI team support CAHL leaders, other committees and members by in furthering belonging and equity work.