Bringing Equity Into Quality Improvement


Sunita Mutha, Angela Marks, Ignatius Bau, Marsha Regenstein

September 25, 2012

A decade after the Institute of Medicine focused national attention on quality in health care, robust resources and strategies exist to help organizations strive toward five domains of quality: safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, and efficient care. There has been much less progress in the sixth domain, equity. With changing demographics, persistence of health care disparities, and recent progress in identifying solutions to reduce gaps in care, now is the time to fully integrate equity into quality improvement.

This two-part guide is intended for individuals and organizations, whether new to or experienced in performance improvement, who want to understand the field and are looking for practical approaches to improving equity. Part One sets the context by describing how the field has evolved, what has been learned from regional and national efforts, and what opportunities are on the horizon for advancing health care equity. Part Two of the guide focuses on how to improve performance and highlights what infrastructure is needed, how to define metrics and use data, and how to tailor care to reduce disparities