Organizations first need to outline and prioritize which questions you need to answer and which analyses you will need to find those answers. Then, collect demographic and social determinants of health (SDOH) data needed for those analyses, including demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender identity & sexual orientation, and language (REGAL). One data team we spoke with suggested not starting any health equity measurements until you’ve collected the relevant data for at least 50% of your population of interest, be that your patients, members, or employees.
REGAL data is a starting point, but broadening efforts to include characteristics such as disability status or geography will lead to a more robust demographic profile. You should also strive to gather qualitative insights because they often add context to disparities that may not be apparent when analyzing quantitative data alone.
Once the data are collected, begin to conduct analyses to uncover disparities by stratifying relevant key performance indicators by REGAL and SDOH data. When doing so, analyze data with an intersectional lens to ensure that you are identifying the most vulnerable populations. Your analyses will likely uncover several disparities; prioritize those that align with your organization’s values, goals, and strategy for a meaningful, sustainable impact.
Set measurable short- and long-term goals centered around the disparities your organization wants to prioritize. Short-term goals build momentum and serve as stepping-stones to long-term goals which aim for transformational change.
Lastly, remember transparency and accountability are key. Leveraging tools like dashboards to democratize data can help measure progress and prevent silos from forming between important stakeholders, both internally and externally.