Sep 06 2022
Patient-Centered Care

Health Equity Is a Top Priority for Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare equity and access is not a solo project that a single organization can tackle alone. Open collaboration is key to fostering better connections.

Healthcare leaders want to take action to address health equity in their communities. Socially responsible care delivery is now among the top priorities for 28 percent of healthcare leaders, up from just 4 percent last year, according to the Philips 2022 Future Health Index report.

More organizations are moving from aspiration to action: Today, 74 percent have or are developing initiatives to improve health equity in their communities, compared with 30 percent in 2021. Many of the initiatives in place aim to improve access to care.

Issues of health equity and access sparked thoughtful conversations at some of the major industry conferences earlier this year. During March’s ViVE conference, Ipsos presented compelling research on “techquity,” or technological equity, and patient health access.

“Every conversation that we have in healthcare should be thinking about the equity component, just like we do with quality improvement,” said Dr. J. Nwando Olayiwola, chief health equity officer and senior vice president at Humana. “If it’s not on your scorecard, it’s probably not a priority for your organization.”

Click the banner below for access to exclusive HealthTech content and a customized experience.

Fostering Connections in Healthcare to Cultivate Health Equity

When healthcare providers combine thoughtful technology initiatives with patient-centered priorities, they cultivate an environment for whole-person health to flourish.

For example, Eskaton, in Northern California, upgraded broadband Wi-Fi at three senior affordable housing communities so individual apartments had high-quality coverage, as described in our feature, “How Networking Upgrades in Senior Care Are Boosting Experiences for Providers and Residents.” Now, through improved connectivity and the use of translation apps, residents can overcome language barriers to build stronger bonds. “One resident knocked on her neighbor’s door for the first time, walked in with her device, and they had a conversation,” Chief Strategy Officer Sheri Peifer tells HealthTech.

UP NEXT: Learn the importance of keeping equity at the forefront in telehealth.

Working toward better digital health equity is also not a solo project. Keisuke Nakagawa, executive director of the UC Davis Health Cloud Innovation Center and director of innovation for the Digital CoLab, puts it best in our interview, “Q&A: UC Davis Health’s Keisuke Nakagawa on Innovation and Collaboration” about how collaboration is important to achieve innovation: “When it comes to health equity, it really is a shared mission.”

Red Diamond/Getty Images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT