How health systems will learn together to improve health justice

The AMA has launched an initiative to improve health outcomes among historically marginalized populations by using infrastructures to account for the quality and safety of patients built by health systems, and then systematically incorporating health equity into this work.

The AMA Advancing Justice through a Quality and Safety Partnership Network is a one-year mentoring and networking program that will equip participating health systems with the basic knowledge and specific tools to incorporate equity into the care practices of their institutions and promote racial justice and equality for their patients, staff and communities.

The AMA is working with Brigham and Womens Hospital and the Joint Program Commission to combine patient-centered approaches to quality and safety with robust structural analyzes of racism and justice to support a comprehensive mission to provide fair, high-quality care for all. patient.

“Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed systemic inequalities in the quality and safety of patient care experiences – including gaps in interpretation services, access to telemedicine and crisis care standards,” said former AMA President Gerald. . E. Harmon, MD.

Through collaborations such as the Peer Network, AMA continues its work to eliminate social and structural factors that hinder patient care – providing health systems with guidelines for informing fair decisions, eliminating inequalities and improving health outcomes for our patients. from historically marginalized communities, “added Dr. Harmon, a family doctor in South Carolina whose term as president of the AMA ended earlier this month.


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About 20,000 doctors are represented by the first eight organizations participating in the program. They are:

Atlantic Medical Group / Atlantic Health, Ochsner Health, and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are members of the AMA Health System Program, which provides management, physicians, and care teams with resources to improve their programs and support the future of medicine.

These health systems are also part of the AMA Insight Network, which helps AMA Health System members gain early access to innovative ideas, get feedback from their peers, network, and learn about pilot opportunities. Find out more.

An AMA Insight Network event included a presentation by Kartik Sivashanker, MD, MPH, AMA Vice President of Fair Health Systems and Innovation. Dr Sivashanker explained how Brigham and Women’s used their existing infrastructure to improve quality and safety to promote justice.

The idea behind designing sustainable and reliable health systems is to capture and prevent mistakes before they reach the patient, whether the individual doctor or health professional is tired, distracted, prejudiced or has a bad day, Dr. Sivashanker explained in his presentation. . The same can be done for health inequalities, which are widespread, widespread, preventable and unfair.

Read more from Dr. Sivashanker on five ways to use quality improvement tools to tackle health inequalities.

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Dr Sivashanker said in an interview that the approach he and his colleagues take at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he is the medical director for quality, safety and fairness, is to ask if there has been injustice involved every time there is an incident with established harm to the patient.

“Then, as we would like with any other factor contributing to preventable harm, ask: What actions do we want to take to address these contributing factors? And then actually take those actions, “he said. “It’s just doing quality and safe work, but doing it with fairness as an explicit focus, where it’s embedded in all the processes and ways we do the work.”

Examples include identifying inequalities in Brigham and Women’s in:

The Peer Network initiative is part of AMA’s strategic plan to embed racial justice and promote health justice. Learn more about the AMA Center for Health Equity.

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