The work to advance health care equity is always evolving, always improving at Henry Ford Health System. In 2011, the Detroit health care system revised its process for collecting race, ethnicity and language preference (REAL) data from patients. Now HFHS has become an advocate for collecting and using self-reported REAL data and helped train other local health providers. HFHS uses an equity dashboard to review key clinical quality measures stratified by REAL data and develop interventions to address any gaps in care. For example, one intervention improved diabetes outcomes for African Americans at a local clinic. HFHS provides ongoing training and education on culturally appropriate care and health literacy for its medical residents, workforce and physician leaders. A new Healthcare Equity Scholars Program creates internal experts in health care equity and implements quality improvement projects that address disparities across the health system. HFHS also has focused on increasing leadership diversity, including providing professional development opportunities to create a pipeline of high-potential candidates. Between 2009 and 2014, minorities in top leadership levels increased by 57% and women in top leadership levels increased by 44%.
Henry Ford Health System is a recipient of the 2015 AHA Equity of Care Award.