Health Equity: Why it Is Important and How to Achieve it

September 14, 2022
Health Equity: Why it Is Important and How to Achieve it

Everyone deserves access to high-quality health care, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Unfortunately, this is only sometimes the case. Health equity is the term used to describe the state where everyone has an opportunity to achieve their best health.

According to the World Health Organization,  health equity is achieved when everyone attains their full potential for health and well-being. Value-based organizations push for health equity by creating equitable access to care, reducing health disparities, and improving patient outcomes.

Read more: Resolving Barriers to Care: Patient Activation is a Step Forward for Health Systems to Advance Health Equity in Value-Based Care.

To achieve accurate health equity, organizations must strive to eliminate disparities in access to quality healthcare services and resources. This is a vitally important issue, and there are many ways that we can work to achieve it. We will discuss some of the most critical aspects of health equity and how you can help promote it in your community.

What Is Health Equity?

One of the aims of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) is to promote health equity (also known as “health justice” or “equity-based health promotion”). This means that the burden of illness should not disproportionately affect any group of people. Health equity looks at how social and economic conditions, policies, and practices can create disparities in healthcare access from one community to another. It seeks to reduce barriers and promote fairness in healthcare services and outcomes.

Health equity requires everyone to have the same resources, opportunities, and power to make decisions about their health. This means that efforts should be made to ensure everyone is given the same access to quality healthcare, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other factor.

How Can Healthcare Centers Achieve Health Equity?

Healthcare organizations face the challenge of providing equitable access to care, reducing health disparities, and improving patient outcomes. As a result, they must strive to eliminate disparities in access to quality healthcare services and resources.

Some ways to achieve this include:

a) Increasing access to healthcare – Healthcare centers can promote better access to healthcare by providing free or low-cost services, offering flexible payment plans and sliding fee scales, and extending service hours.

b) Building trust between patients and providers – Providers should strive to build relationships with their patients by listening to and understanding their needs. This will help create a more positive patient experience, leading to better health outcomes.

c) Developing culturally competent care – Healthcare providers should strive to understand and respect their patients’ cultural backgrounds. This includes providing culturally appropriate resources, services, and language support.

d) Strengthening community partnerships – Healthcare organizations must collaborate with local community partners to ensure that all community members have access to quality healthcare services.

e) Prioritizing prevention – Healthcare centers should focus on preventive care to reduce health disparities and improve patient outcomes. This includes providing education and resources on healthy lifestyles, nutrition, physical activity, and stress management.

Contact Guideway for advanced health equity in your healthcare institution. We provide a care guide solution that helps organizations to identify gaps in quality, health inequities, and disparities to ensure all patients have access to the best care possible.