On Dec. 18, the MGH Disparities Solutions Center released a new and innovative guidebook targeted to health care leaders across the United States to learn how to effectively address health care disparities at their organizations or communities. This guide, called Improving Quality and Achieving Equity: A Guide for Hospital Leaders, is free and available online at http://www2.massgeneral.org/disparitiessolutions/guide.html or as a hard copy. The main goals of the guide are to:

  • Highlight the evidence for racial and ethnic disparities in health care and provide the rationale for addressing them–with a focus on quality, cost, risk management and accreditation.

  • Highlight model practices–hospitals and leaders who are actively engaged in addressing disparities and achieving equity.

  • Recommend a set of activities and resources that can help hospital leaders initiate an agenda for action in this area.

The guide is clear, concise, practical, and easy to read. It is targeted to hospital leaders – including CEO’s, VP’s, and others that focus on quality, safety, finance, and risk management, to be used by individuals within hospitals or health care organizations who either would like to convince their leadership to take action, or who are responsible for making the case for addressing disparities to other leaders in the hospital. It is applicable to all types of hospitals – rural, urban, public, private, and veteran’s administration, and it was developed over the course of 2008. The guide includes a thorough review of the peer-reviewed literature, key informant interviews with hospital leaders, and case studies of innovative approaches that hospitals are undertaking to identify and address disparities, as well as to achieve equity.

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