CHICAGO — Expanding on its ongoing commitment to promote and advance health equity, the American Medical Association (AMA) now offers a new toolkit with five steps to help health systems embed equity into medicine and achieve optimal health for each patient.
Racial and Health Equity: Concrete STEPS for Health Systems was designed to guide health systems on initial catalytic steps for making meaningful improvements in racial and health equity that benefit patients, clinicians, communities and others. The steps are part of a larger cycle of continuous learning, improvement, and accountability envisioned in the AMA's Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health.
“The AMA is committed to embedding racial justice, advancing health equity and partnering with others to identify, prevent and eliminate racism in our health system,” said AMA President Gerald Harmon, M.D. “The AMA’s newest toolkit will help guide health systems in efforts that promote positive cultural transformation and address the root cause of racial health inequities.”
The five steps outlined in the new AMA toolkit include:
Commit to the work. Advancing racial and health equity requires leadership and a commitment to meaningful action. The toolkit features a two-phase path for health systems to commit to organizational transformation.
Start shifting organizational norms by learning. A plan to improve racial and health equity starts with gaining a better, shared understanding of racism in medicine. Tips in the toolkit for individual and group learning will help explore unexpected gaps in knowledge about health equity, racial equity, racism, and anti-racism.
Get a handle on system-wide data. Understand what data can reveal about racial health inequities at the patient-level and community-level. A data framework featured in the toolkit can help improve the quality of system-wide data to further racial and health equity efforts.
Develop a shared, clear, compelling vision and goals. When developing the vision and goal for equity, create a draft quality-improvement based project charter. The toolkit demonstrates how to define a project charter with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals.
Launch targeted improvement efforts across the system. Focus quality improvement campaigns that explicitly aim to advance racial justice and health equity. The toolkit provides vanguard examples of health system-based initiatives to embed racial justice and advance health equity.
Racial and Health Equity: Concrete STEPS for Health Systems is the newest addition to a collection of more than 70 other toolkits available in the AMA STEPS Forward™ that cover transformative medical practice solutions in key areas such as practice efficiency, patient care, patient health, as well as technology and innovation. The AMA STEPS Forward toolkits are accessible through the AMA Ed Hub™ online leaning platform.
Through research, collaborations, advocacy, and leadership, the AMA is working to support system-level solutions that identify and address root causes of health inequities while elevating their importance to patients, communities, and stakeholders. Learn more about efforts underway at the AMA Center for Health Equity.
Robert J. Mills
ph: (312) 464-5970
About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.