Health Equity Snapshot: A Toolkit for Action

Our nation’s hospital and health system leaders are uniquely positioned to implement strategies to advance health equity, diversity and inclusion and share those successes broadly. Systemic change entails both awareness and action. Dedicating actions and policies to addressing the social determinants of health, promoting diversity and inclusion, and striving for health equity must include a long-term vision with significant timely milestones.

The American Hospital Association and its Institute for Diversity and Health Equity are committed to advancing health equity and eliminating health disparities, while supporting diversity and inclusion within health care organizations.

In this context, the IFDHE’s survey into the gains and gaps in hospitals’ and health systems’ efforts provides a nationwide snapshot of work underway and where we must accelerate. It reflects trends that are taking hold in hospitals and health systems, and it provides strong direction we can all follow.

This report provides a snapshot into the state of health care equity; a discussion guide for leadership teams; and actionable steps hospitals and health systems can take to make a difference. We also developed a resource with measures and tools that can assist your organization in identifying the right equity metrics so that you can measure and track progress in these pivotal areas. In addition, the AHA’s Societal Factors that Influence Health Framework is designed to guide hospitals’ strategies to address the social needs of their patients, social determinants of health in their communities and the systemic causes that lead to health inequities so the entire field can have meaningful conversations around these issues.