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Health disparity metric picklists

Advancing health equity requires a data-driven approach. Use our health disparity metric picklists to uncover focus areas for your organization. Select institution-oriented metrics to assess disparate outcomes across your patients and organization and community-oriented metrics to understand how inequitable community conditions impact health outcomes. Best in class organizations combine both sets of metrics to understand the full scope of health inequity. We’ve paired each metric with reference data when available so you can benchmark your performance.

Institution-oriented metrics

Start by looking inward at the performance of your institution. Leaders have more direct control over the policies and procedures that lead to these disparate outcomes. And tracking these metrics, particularly disparities in clinical outcomes and acute utilization, can help you make a stronger case for organizational investment in health equity efforts.

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Community-oriented metrics

Social factors have a profound impact on patients’ lives and account for up to 50% of an individual’s health outcomes. By tracking the social determinants of health, you will be better positioned to strategize non-clinical investments like community partnerships and identify geographic hotspots to target.

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Once you’ve selected your metrics, compare outcomes within and across the socio-demographic domains below. In addition, take an intersectional approach to identify groups most at risk of experiencing inequities. By layering multiple identities at once (such as race and gender) in your analysis, you can better understand how different types of oppression and privilege interact to impact outcomes.

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Language preference
  • Socioeconomic status (using payer as a proxy or percent of federal poverty level)
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Disability status
  • Geography (urban/suburban/rural)
  • Veteran status
  • Highest level of educational attainment
  • Age
Use your growing database in two ways: First, identify how your existing strategic efforts (such as workforce development and quality improvement) either reduce or contribute to disparities. Then, use this intel to design future initiatives that address the needs of marginalized groups. As always, uplift and center community perspectives to build effective, sustainable coalitions.

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