By Rick Pollack and Tom?s Le?n
To meet the changing needs of their communities, hospitals and health systems are working hard to make sure that every individual receives the highest quality of care. To achieve that goal as our nation becomes increasingly diverse, it is imperative that we redouble our efforts to identify and eliminate disparities in care.
That?s why the American Hospital Association (AHA) has launched the #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign (http://www.equityofcare.org/pledge/index.shtml). The campaign builds on the National Call to Action to Eliminate Health Care Disparities (http://www.equityofcare.org/) launched in 2011 by the AHA, American College of Healthcare Executives, Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States and America?s Essential Hospitals. It focuses on three areas we believe provide the greatest opportunities for hospitals and health systems to increase the equity of the care they provide to patients:
- Increase the collection and use of race, ethnicity and language preference data;
- Increase cultural competency training; and
- Increase diversity in leadership and governance.
As a field, we have made some progress, but we need to accelerate that progress to ensure equitable care is delivered to all persons in every community.
The #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign asks every hospital leader to commit to the following:
1.?Sign the pledge ? Pledge to achieve the three areas of the National Call to Action and begin taking action within the next 12 months.
2. Take action ? Implement strategies that are reflected in your strategic plan and supported by your board and leadership.
3. Tell others ? Achieve the goals and share your learnings with others through conference calls and other educational venues, including social media, to accelerate progress collectively.
We first announced the #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign at July?s Health Forum-AHA Leadership Summit in San Francisco, and more than 1,100 hospitals have signed the pledge already. In addition a number of partner organizations have endorsed the campaign.
More details about the #123forEquity Pledge to Act Campaign are available at www.equityofcare.org. For more information, contact us at EquityofCare@aha.org or (312) 422-2630. Please join the team and take the pledge!? It?s not only the right thing to do?it?s the smart thing to do.
Rick Pollack is the President and CEO of the AHA. Tom?s Le?n is the President and CEO of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, an AHA affiliate.?